Do You Need Flood Insurance in Ontario ?
Seeing your house submerged in water, the items you hold dear floating around, and not being able to do anything about it can be heart-wrenching. Floods are the biggest culprits behind this, and unfortunately, Canada has been experiencing a lot of them in recent years. This is why many insurance providers are now offering flood insurance in Ontario and other Canadian regions.
Floods that resulted in the recent 2018’s rainstorms caused insurance damages of more than $80 million, which only tells one thing; how important it is to get flood risk home insurance right now. This guide can help you learn about flood insurance in detail and which one will be best for you. So stay with us till the end.
What’s Flood Insurance?
Flood insurance is an umbrella term that covers a range of flood types (which we will discuss below), but basically; it covers the losses and damages from water flooding. The destruction of property can be from heavy rain, overflow of the sewer system, rise in nearby freshwater bodies, and more.
However, when it comes to flood insurance in Ontario, Canada, companies don’t offer all kinds of flood-related coverage. This is truer for areas close to dams and oceans as the risk of flooding is too high, which can skyrocket premium costs.
Common Types of Floods Covered Under Flood Insurance:
Before 2015, most companies were not offering insurance for any kind of flood in Ontario or even in Canada; only sewer system coverage was offered. It wasn’t until after the 2013’s flash floods, amounting to nearly $1 billion in coverage losses, that more flood insurance options were introduced. Some of the most common ones are:
Burst Pipes: If there’s an issue with pipes inside your home that is causing the flooding, then your insurance company can reimburse you for the damages caused by the water. This kind of coverage usually comes with standard home insurance.
Roof Leaks: Leakage from the roof caused by anything other than wear and tear is also covered by insurance companies. This type of coverage also mostly comes with standard home insurance.
Overland Flood: It includes any flood resulting from the rise in water level outside of your property, enabling the water to get inside your home. This can be from rains, snow melting, and overflow of water bodies like rivers and lakes, etc.
Sewer Back-up Flooding: Unlike the overland flood, in sewer back-up coverage, you are protected if your home is flooded from the inside because of the sewer system backing up. Some companies also offer protection if your home is flooded from freshwater back-up.
Note: Depending on the general home insurance policy, you might get protection from some of the floods mentioned above. However, if you run high flood risk, home insurance won’t suffice; get additional protection for the type of flood that occurs in your area the most.
Things That Are Usually Covered in Flood Insurance, Ontario:
Whether you have coverage from flood risk with home insurance or additional flood insurance, some of the most common offerings from insurance companies include:
Drying your home
Restoration of fittings and fixtures such as lights, outlets, and fans
Compensation for services you get after floods such as architect and surveyor services or legal representation
Remember, your personal belongings are usually not protected under flood insurance. Get Contents Insurance/Scheduled Items Insurance to protect things like:
Electrical goods like computers and TVs
Upholstery, carpets, and furniture, etc.
For any personal items that you may add to your contents insurance, you’ll have to keep the ‘single-item’ value limit in mind.
Anything exceeding this limit will not receive coverage. (Tell your insurance provider about the high-ticket items exceeding the single-item value limit, they might work something out for you).
Some Common Flood Insurance Coverage Exclusions:
Saltwater flooding, especially from tsunamis, tides, and waves, etc.
Sewer back-up resulting from floodwater on the roads
The entry of water from the foundations, walls, or basement of the property
Flood due to overflow/water release from dams
Cost of Insurance for Flood, Ontario:
The cost typically depends on flood risk, home insurance type, and your property condition, so we cannot give you a precise idea. Still, you can ask for a quote to get a personalized insurance policy cost right now.
However, we can tell you that the premiums you will be paying every month will go low or high depending on how likely you will get flooded. Here’s what we mean:
Low Flood Risk: The policy price will be the lowest with the highest level of coverage.
Medium Flood Risk: A little expensive, and the coverage will also have some limitations.
High Flood Risk: Limits will be lower than the previous situation, and cost will increase significantly (usually for places like High River, Alberta).
Insurance companies will look at the history of floods in your area and assess future conditions to decide the cost and coverage limits. You may also check this article about insurance and natural disasters.
Flood Insurance Canada - Commonly Asked Questions:
I Don’t Live in Flood Zones or Near Water; Do I Still Need Flood Insurance?
If you just have standard home insurance, flood zones or not; you still need flood insurance. This is because even if you’re not at the risk of external flooding, internal overflow of water from sewers or pipe leakage can still damage your property.
As a Tenant, Do I Need Flood Insurance?
Your landlord should be the one getting it as he/she owns the property. However, you should get contents insurance/scheduled items insurance to protect your belongings in case of flooding.
Why Don’t Most Companies Offer Coverage from Tsunamis or Tidal Waves?
Be it dam leakage, saltwater overflow, tsunamis, or tidal waves; they affect a tiny population. Plus, the flooding risk is more significant as they are near uncontrollable water 24/7. So most companies don’t bother covering them.
How to Know If I Am Eligible for Flood Insurance?
It’s pretty simple. You need to talk to an authorized insurance advisor to find out. We at Surex can connect you with leading insurance providers in Canada, allowing you to get a consultation, as well as instant quotes.