Marie-Claude Dulac

By Marie-Claude Dulac

April 23, 2016


Homeowners, Learn How to Prevent Water Damage!

Article revised on 14 February 2018

Extreme weather, ageing aqueduct and sewer systems… Canadian insurers receive more and more claims as a result of water damage. So you think water damage is never covered by home insurance? Think again! According to recent estimates, the Canadian insurance industry makes $1.7 billion in water damage payments every year. It’s important for homeowners to prevent damage caused by water seepage.

Limit the damage

Inside your home

  • Keep your valuables on the ground or upper-level floors.
  • In the basement, use water- and mould-resistant materials, i.e. bamboo or ceramic floors.
  • If you go away for more than three days in the winter, ask someone you trust to drop in regularly to make sure everything is fine. Drain the water from the pipes or ask that they also check heating was being maintained.

Outside your home

  • Clear debris and fallen leaves from your eavestroughs. A backed-up eavestrough can collapse. Water can then seep through the roof. Also, water resulting from an overflow of eavestroughs cannot be diverted to a safe distance from your home, thus causing a foundation drain blockage. Let’s not forget possible damage to your borders.
  • Clear leaves and debris from window wells to allow water to drain properly and not seep through your windows.
  • Make sure the slope of the land around the house allows for water to flow away from your property and making sure water does not in turn flood the neighbour’s property. Sloping the ground away from the house on all sides to at least six feet away from the structure is usually enough to reduce the risk of seepage.
  • Check the condition of the sidewalks, patios and parking area. Subsidence may cause water to flow towards the house.
  • Use native or flood- or drought-resistant plants to prevent ground erosion.
  • Use baffles to divert water flow at least six feet away from the foundation. You can also use a barrel to collect rain water. Did you know some IGAs sell rain water barrels at reduced prices? Find out more!

Check your insurance policy

Does your home insurance policy provide coverage for water damage? Normally, damage associated with an indoor sanitary system (e.g. a dishwasher pipe that bursts or ruptures) or a a public watermain breakage is covered by home insurance. However, some risks are covered only if you take out additional coverage against water damage to your existing policy. For example:

  • Water seepage through the roof, walls, doors or windows
  • Sewer backup
  • Ground water seepage through foundations
  • Tear-out and repair costs of the premises in the event of a water supply line breakage or sewer back-up.
  • Damage caused by flooding

To find out more about water damage coverage, consult the Insurance Bureau of Canada’s interactive tool.

Please note that La Capitale’s Personalized Form includes flexible coverage against water damage. You can choose coverage that is tailored to your needs, at the right price!

All things considered, do you have water damage coverage that’s right for you? Remember that the needs of a tenant living on the third floor who does not store anything in the building’s basement are different from that of a homeowner’s! Make sure you are adequately covered: talk to your insurance representative.

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