One of the problems with home insurance is that many homeowners take for granted what is covered. Then when they go to put a claim in, they become frustrated. One of the most common claims against home insurance is water damage. There are some types of water damage that is covered and other types that are not. A homeowner has to be sure what their home insurance is covering. This way if they feel they need extra coverage then they can buy it.
Different Types of Water Damage
One type of flooding is referred to as overland flooding. This is where water enters a home through openings and cracks. Canada is increasingly seeing more of this due to change in weather patterns. Most often this type of flooding occurs from severe storms and rapid spring thaws.
A lot more insurance companies are now offering overland flooding insurance. But, the catch is this is usually optional insurance. Meaning that you will have to ask for it and pay extra for it. It is also important to understand the wording of the insurance policy. Some may say water coverage is included. But, a closer look at that policy will show that there are exclusions based on the cause and type of damage.
Allstate Insurance is one of the common home insurance providers in Canada.
They state that there is base water coverage included in all of the Property insurance policies. But, then they go on to talk about additional water coverage that is available to different provinces.
Ontario, AB, and Maritimes
Allstate has extra water insurance coverage for:
Enhanced Water Damage
This provides coverage for;
- Water overflow from sewers, drains, sump pit or septic tank
- Malfunction of sump pump
- Sewer backup that is fresh water
- Flooding from stream, rivers or lakes
- Rapid and unusual accumulation of rain fall that enters through basement windows or cracks in the basement floor or garage doors
- Unusual or rapid accumulation of ground or surface water which enters home
- Expense recovery for installation of certain components to a sump pump
- Damage to service lines
Overland Water Insurance
It has only been a recent occurrence that overland water insurance was available in Ontario. The first company that is offering this in Ontario is Aviva Insurance. An example of overland flooding is that which comes from over spilling bodies of water, or from heavy rainfall.
Above Ground Water Damage
This is encompasses sudden and accidental water discharge. For example when the eaves get clogged, or the roof drains cannot handle the water.
Limited Sewer Backup
The limited sewer backup covers damage caused from a faulty sump pump, municipal sewer backup, septic system
What all of this extra coverage tells you that you can buy as optional is that most likely the base insurance coverage is not going to cover any of this.
There are many different components in the home that can cause water damage by overflow. These include:
- Bath Tubs
- Water Tanks
- Washing Machines
- Water Coolers
- Water Beds
- Water Coolers
Sewer or Water Backup
A common misconception is that basic homeowners insurance will cover this type of damage. But, it most cases it will not unless optional insurance has been purchased for it.
Knowing what optional insurance is available gives a quick heads up as to what is not covered.
What Does Basic Insurance Cover?
- Sudden or accidental discharge
- This encompasses the category for overflow water damage and includes
- Water lines breaking
- Hail and wind damage that has created an opening for water damage.
Gradual Water Damage
The circumstances of the water damage also play a big role as to whether the water damage will be covered.
This type of water damage is not normally covered in the basic home insurance. Gradual damage is that which occurs over a period of time. Examples are;
- Damage from leaky pipes
- Water seepage through cracks in the foundation
- Deterioration in the roofs
- Rotting or deterioration of the home structure
The Smart Way to Shop For Home Insurance That Has Water Protection
These tips will help to take the confusion out of shopping for home insurance that is going to give you the type of water protection that you need.
- First, realize that all insurance companies differ in what they have to offer.
- There will be basic insurance coverage that included some water coverage.
- It is possible that even with some of the basic water coverage that there could be limitations.
- Look carefully at what optional water insurance the company is offering. This will be a good indicator of what the basic insurance is not going to cover.
- Read the insurance policy carefully and fully before signing it.
- Look at your personal circumstances. What water risks do you perceive could be ones that you need extra coverage for.
Tips for Home Insurance Shopping
- Adopt good habits when insurance shopping.
- This is done by getting quotes.
- But, not just settling for the lowest quote.
- Check to see what is covered in these quotes.
- Then compare these with the other quotes.
- Look at what the optional insurance is that is being offered. Determine which of these are needed.
- Then compare the costs of the optional insurance.
- Next, take a look at the discounts and see which of these apply to you.
Once you have gathered all this data, you can compile it and do a good analysis of which insurance company is offering you the best for the price you will be paying.
Setting yourself up a chart like this will allow you to do a quick and easy analysis of your home insurance needs and what is available to you.
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