Floods are defined as an overflow of water onto land that is normally dry, and are considered to be one of the most frequent natural hazards in Canada. Caused by melting snow or heavy rainfalls, they can occur at any time of the year and cause major damage to your home and belongings. Most homeowners mistakenly believe that their insurance policy covers them against a flood. However, despite the increased risk, flood insurance does not exist in Canada.
Most Calgary home insurance policies will cover water damage, but you will need to talk to your insurance broker about the details of your coverage. For example, most policies will cover water damage from a backed up sewer drain, as long as you have that coverage included on your policy. Similarly, if a pipe freezes and bursts, your insurance will generally cover the damage if your home was occupied during that time.
In order to protect your home and belongings from damage caused by a flood, it would be a good idea to follow these tips:
- Do not store valuable items in the basement. Instead, find a place for them on one of the upper floors.
- Make sure the drains in your floor are always clear of obstructions.
- Have an engineer check the grading around your home to make sure that water flows away from the house.
- Have a sewer back flow valve installed to prevent sewage from backing up into your home.
While you can’t insure against a flood, you can take proactive steps to help defend against the damage caused by this common natural hazard.