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Water Damage: Prevention and Protection

Water damage has become the #1 cause of damage to homes in Canada, and is the leading source of property insurance claims today. Changing weather patterns, severe storm events and aging infrastructure has all lead to homeowners needing to be prepared to face the threat of water.

 

How Water Can Enter Your Home

Sewer Back-Up

There are two sewer sources where water can back up and enter the home:

  • Sanitary sewers, which contain the sewage created by the use of toilets, sinks, drains and other household water use. Sanitary sewage is highly contaminated and can pose serious health risks should it enter the home.

  • Storm sewers, which collect excess water from surface roads, sidewalks, parking lots, etc., caused by heavy rainfall or snow melting.

Sewer Back-Up can occur when either sanitary or storm sewer system, or a combination of both, accumulates more water than the systems can handle. When sewer systems are at their capacity, water can be pushed backwards through to a home’s basement floor drain, toilet and/or sink.

Overland Water

Most Canadian communities have been designed with stormwater management systems, such as overland flow routes, which help carry water from heavy rainfall or snow melt away from residential homes.  As with sewers, these systems have a maximum capacity for water. With the increasing frequency and severity of storms we are seeing across the country, stormwater management systems are reaching capacity at a faster rate than the engineers that built them could ever have forecasted. When the systems are full, water can overflow and enter your home through cracks, windows and doors.

Coverage Options Available

At Pembridge Insurance, we want to offer our valued customers coverage that meets your needs, and not leave you 'high and dry' when faced with water damage in your home. 

Two Coverage Options Available:

  1. Water Damage Extension, or
  2. Sewer Backup Endorsement

Water Damage Extension is available in most areas across the country and includes:

  • Overland Water coverage - damage or loss caused by overland flood, fresh-water flood, and unusual and rapid accumulation of ground water and surface water;
  • Sewer Backup coverage - damage or loss caused by water escape from or back-up of sewers, drains, sump pumps or septic tanks;
  • Sewer Backup Mitigation coverage – we will pay $1,000 towards the installation of a certified back flow valve or sump pump with backup power supply, following a covered loss;
  • Service Line coverage – we will pay up to $10,000 for loss or damage to a covered service line on the premise resulting from service line failure. Included service lines are: water, power, fuel, cable and telephone.

Sewer Backup Endorsement, available when the Water Damage Extension is not available, or when  there isn't an exposure to flooding. This endorsement has two components:

  • Sewer Backup coverage - damage or loss caused by water escape from or back-up of sewers, drains, sump pumps or septic tanks;
  • Sewer Backup Mitigation coverage– we will pay $1,000 towards the installation of a certified back flow valve or sump pump with backup power supply, following a covered loss.

What Coverage is Right for Me?

There are many ways water can enter your home. Our coverage options offer protection for Flood and/or Sewer Backup but what if your hot water tank suddenly leaks, your bathtub accidentally overflows or a plumbing line on your property suddenly bursts?

Check out our Claims Examples diagram to know what’s covered, and what’s not covered, and speak with your Broker for advice on what coverage is best suited for your needs.

Water Damage Prevention

There are a number of easy and inexpensive steps you can take to prevent water from entering your home. Please refer to our Water Damage Prevention tip sheet to learn more.

If You Discover Water:

  • Do not enter the area unless you’re sure it’s safe

  • Turn off electrical power and unplug and remove electrical appliances. If you cannot safely shut off your electricity, call your Hydro Company immediately

  • If your home or water is heated with gas, or if you have gas appliances or a fireplace, check for fumes. If you notice an odour, call the Gas Company immediately

  • If the area is safe, take steps to protect your property from further damage:

    • Shut off the main water supply to prevent further damage

    • Move items away from flooded areas and place them on elevated surfaces

    • If the sanitary sewer backs up into your basement, do not flush the toilet or turn on taps

  • Report your claim:

    • During regular business hours – contact your Insurance Broker

    • Outside of business hours – Contact our toll-free Claims Promise line, open 24/7:

Region

Promise Line

Alberta

1-800-661-1577

Atlantic

1-800-561-7222

Ontario

1-800-387-0462

Quebec

1-877-463-2727

USA (Snowbirds)

1-800-387-0462