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From 2009 to 2014 insured losses from catastrophic events were close to or above $1 billion each year – most of this was due to water damage.

4 Ways To Prepare For Water-Related Damage

Flooding and related sewer backup damage is costly for homeowners, businesses, municipalities and insurance companies. In fact, in 2013 insurers paid out a record-high $3.2 billion to policy holders.

From ensuring that important documents are not stored in your basement to installing a sump pump, there are many ways to be proactive such as:

  1. Keep a current and detailed home inventory
  2. If your neighbourhood is prone to flooding, take precautions throughout your house and property.
  3. Assemble a disaster safety kit. 
  4. Create a 72-hour emergency preparedness plan ​for your family. 

Rest Easier. Know What’s Covered. 

Talk to your insurance representative to make sure you have appropriate coverage. Be aware that:

  • ​Sudden and accidental bursting of plumbing pipes and appliances is covered by all home insurance policies. However, damage may not be covered when freezing causes the escape of water.
  • In general, overland flooding that results in water entering a home is not covered. Overland flooding usually occurs when bodies of water, such as rivers, dams and other watercourses, overflow onto dry land and cause damage. Overland flooding and seepage generally is not covered by home insurance because it is only a risk for the small percentage of the population who live in a flood plain. Since the purpose of insurance is to spread risk among many policyholders, flood insurance for those at risk would be unaffordable.
  • Water damage in a basement due to a sewer backup is only covered if specific sewer backup coverage has been purchased.
  • Damage to homes caused by hail or wind is usually covered. This includes damage caused by flying debris or falling branches or trees, or damage caused by water entering through sudden openings caused by wind or hail.
  • If comprehensive or all perils coverage has been purchased, damage to vehicles from wind, hail or water is usually covered. This coverage is not mandatory, so check your policy.
  • In certain circumstances, homeowners who are unable to return home due to insurable damage are entitled to additional living expenses.

How IBC Is Helping Canadian Communities Fight Flooding

IBC's Municipal Risk Assessment Tool – also known as MRAT – is a new, multi-million dollar technology created by municipalities and insurers to help protect against costly sewer backup damage to homes and businesses.

Tips For Starting The Claim Process

  • Call your insurance representative or company. Most insurers have a 24-hour claims service. Be as detailed as possible when providing information.
  • List all damaged or destroyed items. If possible, assemble proofs of purchase, photos, receipts and warranties. Take photos of damage incurred and keep damaged items, unless they pose a health hazard.
  • Keep all receipts related to cleanup and living expenses if you’ve been displaced. Ask your insurance representative about what expenses you may be entitled to and for what period of time.


In times of crisis, slowing down is often the best approach. If you’ve just been in a collision, are a victim of theft, or have weather related damage, there are things you can do to manage the situation

From floods to fires to earthquakes, severe weather can damage your home. If you’re in a crisis situation that could affect the structure of your home or your own health, keep calm and seek alternate shelter immediately. 

A crisis can happen at any time, threatening an organization in a multitude of tangible and intangible ways.