Over the past few years, Canadians have been hit hard by freshwater flooding in Southern Ontario and Alberta, which cost homeowners significant amounts of money to repair since such incidents are not covered under traditional homeowner’s insurance. Here in North Bay, homes in East Ferris and homes closer to the Lake Nipissing shoreline are prone to overland water damage, which isn’t covered by home insurance unless the source of the water damage is a sewer backup.
To fill this gap in the insurance market, Aviva will be offering overland water coverage starting in June of 2015. The company does not refer to it as “flood insurance” as it does not cover coastal flooding from salt water. Overland water is defined as freshwater from rivers, lakes, or sudden accumulation from heavy rainfall. It will be available for existing Aviva clients with personal property policies, and is currently the only insurance product of its kind in Canada.
Changing weather patterns make this coverage a good investment
Over the past 60 years in Canada, average temperatures have increased by 1.3 degrees Celsius and average rainfall has increased by 12%. Canada now has 20 times the storms and floods that we had 20 years ago, and floods are responsible for 40% of Canadian natural disasters. This is a trend that is likely to continue.
Changes in weather can turn areas that were not once flood-prone into areas where freshwater flooding is more likely to occur. A good recent example of this was the flooding that hit Burlington, Ontario in 2014. The flooding was a result of two months of rainfall falling within two hours, which flooded out storm drains, creeks and other waterways around the city. This flooding caused major damage to homes in Burlington that had never seen water damage before. Weather events like the one that hit Burlington are likely to be more commonplace in the future, and it is best to be prepared for them with overland water coverage.
Cost and deductibles
As with any insurance product, if you increase your deductible, the cost of the premium will be less. If your goal is to protect against a major event, such as needing an entirely new basement and replacing items like furnaces and water heaters, a $10,000 deductible will get you the coverage you need while lowering the cost of your premium.
Kennedy Insurance will be offering Aviva’s new overland water coverage starting June 2015. Contact us today for a quote, particularly if you live in an area like East Ferris which is prone to freshwater flooding. If you are currently not an Aviva client, contact us about switching so you can add this coverage.