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Severe Storms


Severe storms are unpredictable and can occur during any season. Storms of this nature can develop quickly and often include hail, lightning, strong winds, and heavy rainfall.

Canada’s increasingly severe weather means that basement flooding and water damage are becoming more common.

Damage from sewer backups is costly for homeowners, municipalities, and insurance companies. Based on recent estimates, the Canadian insurance industry pays $1.7 billion each year in claims due to water damage.

Water damage can result in expensive repair bills. It can also ruin carpeting, furniture, and electronic equipment, and destroy priceless family photos and treasures.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to protect your home and your property.

Are you at risk?

Communities across the country are vulnerable.

Are you prepared?

  • Prepare a detailed home inventory.
  • Prepare your home.
  • Assemble a disaster safety kit.
  • Create an emergency preparedness plan for your family.

Are you covered?

  • Talk to your insurance representative to make sure you have appropriate coverage.
  • Damage to homes caused by hail or wind is usually covered. This includes damage caused by flying debris or falling branches or trees, or damage to your home and contents from water entering through openings caused by wind or hail.
  • Damage to vehicles from wind, hail, or water is usually covered if comprehensive or all perils coverage auto insurance has been purchased. This coverage isn’t mandatory, so check your policy.
  • In general, overland flooding resulting in water entering a home is not covered.
  • Overland flooding usually occurs when bodies of water, such as rivers, dams and other watercourses, overflow onto dry land and cause damage to residential areas. Overland flooding and seepage can’t be covered by home insurance because it is only a risk for the small percentage of the population who live in a flood plain. Since the purpose of insurance is to spread risk among many policyholders, flood insurance for those at risk would be unaffordable.
  • Water damage in a basement due to a sewer backup is only covered if specific sewer backup coverage has been purchased.
  • In certain circumstances, homeowners who are unable to return home due to insurable damage are entitled to additional living expenses.

Article reproduced courtesy of the Insurance Bureau of Canada.  www.ibc.ca