Water damage surpasses fire as main cause of loss in much of Canada

July 16th, 2014 by admin

The Insurance Bureau of Canada reports that water damage, stemming from severe weather, is on the rise, surpassing fire as the main cause of loss. The risk of water damage has led to an increase in insurance premiums nationwide.

Severe weather is often the cause of basement flooding and water damage. 

The Bureau explained: "The majority of these insured losses were caused by extreme weather events, but Canada's home and business insurers are also seeing an increase in claims resulting from smaller weather events that nevertheless result in significant property damage for consumers."

Damage to sewer backups is costly, having led the Canadian insurance industry to pay $1.6 billion in claims in 2011, and that number continues to rise. The cost is compounded by the inability of aging sewer infrastructure to manage increased precipitation, and the fact that many homeowners have made expensive upgrades to their basements. 

In light of these risks to homeowners, especially those living near areas susceptible to flooding and sewer backups, the Bureau suggests certain steps: 

  • Move valuables from the basement to the upper levels of your home.
  • Install a sump pump.
  • Install backwater plugs for drains, toilets and other sewer connections.
  • Raise large appliances — furnaces, hot water heaters and electrical panels — onto wood or cement blocks, high above the water. 
  • If flooding is about to happen, make sure to shut off electricity to the affected areas in your home. 

Outside your home:

  • Make sure that you have proper lot grading. In order to ensure that water drains away from basement walls, try to build up the ground around your house. 
  • Ensure that sidewalks, patios, decks and driveways haven't settled over time, which would lead water to drain toward your house.
  • Clear snow away from your house foundation during the winter months. 
  • Install a rain barrel to catch water runoff.

For all questions related to your home insurance needs, including sewer backup coverage, contact Fundy Mutual, and as always, follow our blog.