Overland Water Protection is a new coverage designed to protect against damage caused when ground water enters a dwelling through the foundation, basement floors or walls and/or sewer line. It covers damage caused by fresh water flood such as the overflow of a river, lake or other body of water. Also covered is the sudden accumulation of water due to heavy rainfall, spring run off or natural overflow of a dam, dike or levee.
* Frequently Asked Questions
Overland Water damage must be caused by a sudden weather-related event. Continuous or repeated seepage of water into your dwelling which happens over a period of time is not covered. This would be considered a maintenance problem such as a crack in the foundation or leaky pipe. In addition, the intentional release of a dam, dike or levee is excluded unless it was as a result of an official flood control measure. Storm surges and salt water flood are not covered.
Not exactly.Flood can refer to coastal flooding from salt water waves, tides, tsunamis and storms. Salt water flood is not covered by Overland Water Protection.
If you have purchased Sewer Backup coverage, you are covered for the backing up of the sewer line but not if it backs up in the time preceding, during or after a flood or if overland water enters your dwelling from any other entry point. Since the June, 2013, flood in Southern Alberta, insurance companies have changed their policies to exclude sewer backup when it occurs before, during or after a flood. You must have both sewer backup and overland water protection to be adequately covered in the event of a fresh water flood.
If the building is damaged by overland water and is evacuated or unlivable, additional living expense such as the cost of temporarily relocating, are covered by Overland Water Protection. Also, for those persons who store contents in the basement or parkade level, coverage is needed for the stored belongings.
Overland Water damage can be caused by spring thaw (snow and frozen grounds), heavy rains and snow melt runoffs. Downspouts, gutters and drains can overflow resulting in water entering the dwelling through the foundation, under ground level doors and other entry points.
You may need coverage if there are heavy rains and the septic field gets saturated. There may be no where for the water to go and it can accumulate and enter your dwelling.
Not all properties are eligible. Most homes including your primary residence, seasonal and secondary homes, condominiums and rented dwellings are eligible. It is not available for mobile homes and a select few seasonal properties do not qualify. Coverage is available in Alberta and Ontario at the moment but may soon be introduced for properties in other Canadian provinces.
Coverage is not available in certain zones considered to be in extremely high risk flood areas or for homes with reverse driveways. Dwellings within 100 metres of a river or other flowing body of water do not qualify. Even waterfront lake properties qualify provided they meet these requirements and, when a lake is completely enclosed, the 100 metre rule does not apply. Pre-approval is required for properties near any canal or next to lakes fed by a river.
Although there has not been an official announcement, we were informed that the government emergency relief program(s) previously available to flood victims, may not respond for eligible property owners who refused Overland Water coverage.
The cost of coverage is determined by the limits of coverage, deductible and location of the property. You can reduce the cost by selecting a higher deductible for Overland Water claims or by reducing the amount of coverage. For example, you may wish to fully cover the building but have a lower amount for contents.
Water-damage has now surpassed fire as the leading cause of personal property claims in Canada.
Weather events are becoming more severe and more frequent. Environment Canada advises that they expect this trend to continue.
Climate change is partially responsible for the rising frequency and severity of extreme weather events such as floods, storms and droughts since warmer temperatures tend to produce more violent weather patterns.
Severe weather events that used to happen every 40 years are now expected to happen every 6 years.
Mean precipitation has increased across Canada by about 12% in the last 50 years, meaning we now experience 20 additional days of rain.
Overland water losses are often caused by spring thawing (snow and frozen grounds melting in the spring), heavy rains and snow melt runoffs.