Most homeowner property insurance policies do not provide insurance coverage for overland flooding. However, sewer backup coverage may be available.
For commercial property insurance property policies both overland flooding and sewer backup coverage is commonly available. Check with your insurance provider on the insurance coverage, limits and deductibles.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Contact your insurance company or agent as soon as possible after a flood or sewer backup. They will advise you on clean-up and claim procedures. If you are renting or leasing property, contact the owner as well.
If safe to do so, take photographs of the damaged area and items before you repair or discard them.
Keep receipts for repairs or cleanups and list all damaged items.
If you are renting or leasing, DO NOT assume you are covered by the owner’s insurance. In most cases, the tenant is obliged to provide his own contents and liability coverage. If you do not have your own tenant’s policy, check with the property owner. In some instances there may be insurance coverage included in the lease. Take nothing for granted; it could cost you money.
The Insurance Bureau of Canada has advised that most homeowners and tenants insurance will pay for reasonable additional living expenses if your premises are unfit for occupancy or you have to move out while repairs be being made. Keep your receipts for all expenses incurred as a result of the flooding for review by the adjusters. Reimbursement limits will vary from company to company.
Insurance Availability and Affordability Issues
In some situations citizens may experience problems obtaining sewer backup coverage, have that coverage restricted by or may have difficulty obtaining property insurance altogether. This is particularly true if there is a history of prior sewer backup claims. In these situations it is recommended that the citizen phone the Insurance Bureau of Canada’s Consumer Information Centre in Edmonton at 780-423-2212 or 1-800-377-6378. Citizens can obtain more information in this regard online at the Insurance Bureau of Canada.
It is the responsibility of the occupant to secure the property as well as possible after the flood to prevent further loss. Your adjuster, once contacted, can assist you in this regard.
For general insurance information, contact the Insurance Bureau of Canada at 780-423-2212.