Check that your home insurance covers flood damage

Check that your home insurance covers flood damage

Home insurance… As the seventh anniversary of the Great Flood of 2013 approaches, the City of Calgary has issued a high water advisory for the Bow and Elbow Rivers.

“Due to higher expected flow rates and the current forecast, Calgarians are advised against boating and all other watercraft activities on the rivers during this time,” said the City in a statement. “We are expecting ongoing high flows for the next while, due to snowmelt, the ongoing presence of thunderstorms and a low-pressure system entering Alberta on the weekend.

“No flooding over riverbanks is expected, however, flows on the Bow and Elbow are currently fast, cold and murky, making conditions on and near the rivers dangerous.”

The advisory is a reminder to make sure your family is prepared for a flood, and foremost on your list is to ensure your home insurance covers flooding.

It is important to know the province of Alberta has flood-zone mapped locations showing different degrees of exposure. Flooding insurance companies may offer coverage only in low-risk areas. Check with your broker on this point.

Anne Marie Thomas of InsuranceHotline.com says flooding is only covered under home insurance if the policyholder purchased it.

“It is not part of the standard homeowner policy. Damage that results from overland water coming into your home through the roof, basement, doors and windows is covered, including damage done to your home’s exterior and interior. Loss of personal property to flooding and damages resulting from a sewer backup as a result of flooding would also be covered.”

If a flood warning is declared, take protective steps.

“Protect as much property as you can from further damage such as moving items from the basement to a higher floor or to another safe location. Contact your insurance broker or company for next steps,” says Thomas. “If a flood occurs and you, unfortunately, need to evacuate, when you are allowed to return, take photos of any and all damage to provide to your insurance company and for other relief programs the government may provide.”

If evacuated, additional living expenses, such as travel, food and hotels, should be covered under most homeowner and rental policies, if the primary cause of the loss was covered by the underlying policy.

“A flood could come at a time when we are all practicing physical distancing,” says Thomas. “Alberta had expected some crossover of the pandemic with floods and fires that can occur, and according to Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, the province has made preparations to ensure that evacuation centres have processes in place for physical distancing and sanitation.”

The government of Canada has a list of things to follow after a flood at: www.getprepared.gc.ca/cnt/hzd/flds-ftr-eng.aspx .

Source: Saltwire Newtwork


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