April has come in with a very “heavy” vibe to it. Heavy – with the eerie feelings we are having doing daily “unconscious” tasks like fueling up our vehicle, buying groceries, grabbing a coffee, just breathing in public, or being aware of how “moistly” we speak. It has also brought a heavy amount of snowfall. Now that the warmer weather is approaching, we may find ourselves with a water problem or runoff issues.
Over the past few years, our provincial government has slowly transferred responsibility of their PDAP flood program and put that burden on the public to now buy flood insurance. Not all people have purchased this coverage as they feel like they are on higher ground, or do not have a basement in their home/cabin/business, or they’re generally not concerned. It is important to be prepared for these events regardless of your position, and even if you HAVE purchased the coverage, you should still take precautions and try to prevent a potential loss as not all water losses are covered; even under this new water protection coverage.
What should I do to prevent damage to my home or place of business?
As a property owner, there are a number of things you should do to help prevent water damage.
- Remove built-up snow/ice from the roof/eavestroughs to prevent ice damming.
- Make sure downspouts are cleaned out, connected properly and are directed away from the building.
- Shovel snow away from the perimeter of the building.
- Confirm slope of the landscaping around the building sheds water away from the building.
- Install a sump pump, pipe it away from property and have a backup power supply installed for added protection. If you already have a sump pump, test it to make sure it is working and ready to go.
- Install a backup inline valve in your sewer line to prevent sewer water backing up into your basement.
What happens if I do these preventative measures and I still end up having water in my basement?
You can do everything right and still have a claim on your property. This is why insurance exists. They are not maintenance policies, but sudden and accidental policies to protect you from the unforeseen. If you have water protection coverage on your policy, you could potentially be covered for the following:
- Surface water – This is where water on the surface of the ground enters the dwelling through a point, at or above, the surface of the ground.
- Flood – This is damage caused by the rising of, breaking out or overflow of any body of water.
- Ground Water – damage to the home caused by water entering the home beneath the surface of the ground. Coverage will be provided only when it’s sudden and accidental, and it happens at the same time as a flood or surface water incident.
- Sewer Backup – Water or sewage accidentally discharged or escaped from the sewer, sump or septic tank.
However, that being said, not everything is covered. There is some confusion surrounding groundwater and the term “seepage.” Seepage is not usually covered. Some companies have started to develop some type of coverage for this peril, but most continue to exclude it. Seepage, by definition, is the process by which a liquid (water) leaks slowly through a porous substance. Ie – Concrete Foundation. It is a slow constant process and therefore, not sudden and accidental.
This is why it is important to have water shedding away from the foundation of the home. The more the water gathers around the house, the more likely it is, that you could have water seeping through a hole in your foundation and potentially have a water loss in your home. Sump pumps are a must nowadays with the high water table in the ground. Many locations like Warman or Martensville have a higher water table and the sump pumps in those areas are actively being used this time of year. So make sure they are maintained and ready for the season.
If you do have a water issue and need to submit a potential claim, please fill out our claim form online and submit it to our office, we will pass that information along to your insurance provider and we can get the process started. Please note that if you proceed with the claim, you will be responsible to pay for your deductible as that is your portion you are responsible for.
If you have any further questions in regards to your policy or this coverage in particular, please contact your broker or request a copy of your wordings to review the coverage you have on your policy with your insurance carrier.
Even though the world has come to a halt, it is important to not stop ourselves, but to keep moving and focusing on protecting our assets and our family. Stay safe everyone.