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Water Damage: What Will My Insurance Cover?

Water Damage to Your Kitchener Waterloo Home

This blog post was first published on the website of Restoration 1 Kitchener. We have modified it for   our readers - we hope you find it useful.

Water has damaged your home. And while that is in no way any fun at all, at least your homeowner’s insurance is going to cover the cost of the cleanup and remediation, right? That’s a relief at least. Except if you are not the kind of person who pays minute attention to the insurance coverage you buy and pay for then sadly, in some cases, the answer might be no.

The Basics

In Canada, your basic property owner’s insurance will cover certain kinds of water damage pretty much as standard. If a pipe burst on your washing machine and flooded the laundry room then yes, your insurance should help pay to fix the damage. By the same token if a particularly bad rainstorm causes water to enter your home (maybe because it breaks a hole in the roof or floods the basement), you will not be covered. According to Jack Tu of BDA Insurance, water coming from a rainstorm that floods your basement is NOT covered in Canada.  Jack says, “We are currently the only G8 country in the world that does not offer flood coverage.  Flood is defined as overland water coming into the home – for example through a window well, doors, etc.  Additionally, water coming in through cracks in your foundation is not covered.”

In very basic terms almost all standard property owners’ insurance policies will cover “clean water damage.” What does that mean? Water that has not come from below ground or from a sewer, which is the case in both of the examples we cited above.

One thing to watch out for though; damage from frozen pipes. Technically this would be a clean water incident and you would imagine it would be covered. However, for many insurance companies this is a really grey area and coverage is not assured, especially if it can be proved you were away on vacation or something similar at the time.

Dealing with Dirty Water Damage Costs

A standard property owner’s insurance policy may or may not automatically cover ‘dirty water’ damage. Dirty water damage would be considered to be things like toilet overflows or flooding caused by a sewer pipe backup, even if the fault was not yours and the municipality you live in was actually responsible for maintaining the sewers involved.

Go through the small print on your policy and if you are not sure if dirty water damage is covered, give your insurance company a call to check. Even if it’s not though you can purchase add on insurance at a low cost to cover these kinds of dirty water incidents and it is something well worth considering given how much damage such things could cost.

Overland Floods

Believe it or not right now, in Canada, you can’t actually purchase specific insurance that covers overland flooding. According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada only a very small number of properties are at risk for such a thing. Therefore, in the eyes of the insurers there would be too few people paying in to such insurance to make it worth their while offering a specific overland flood insurance policy in the way that insurers in the United States may.

So Do I Have the Right Insurance Coverage?

The only way you can accurately answer that question is to have a chat with your insurance broker. As your home is such a huge investment it always pays to be on top of things like this – and make sure you understand every last word of the fine print regardless. It’s always better to be safe than sorry after all.

We recommend that you take a few moments to review the insurance policy you have in place before you need to know the specifics about your coverage. You’re going to want to make sure you have the right coverage for the biggest asset you own, your home in Kitchener Waterloo.

If you have any questions about home insurance we recommend Jack Tu of BDA Insurance to our customers. You can contact Jack at 226.606.9622 or email him at jtu@teambda.ca. We hope you never have to deal with water damage to your home but if you do – contact the experts in water damage, Restoration 1 Kitchener. You can reach them through their 24 hour emergency hotline at 519.505.4785 or visit their website at http://www.kitchener.restoration1.ca.

Find out how I’ve helped more than 2,000 families buy and sell homes in Kitchener-Waterloo by getting a copy of my free eBook here. Also for great real estate videos you won’t find anywhere else, subscribe to my YouTube channel. I love to share my expert knowledge so if you have any real estate questions feel free to call me at 310-SOLD or email me at mark@maurerteam.com.