Protecting your home from water damage

September 11, 2019

Water is one of the top causes of home insurance claims. In fact, a Canadian study found that 48% of all home insurance claims are due to water damage.1

Alberta unfortunately knows this especially well. The June 2013 flood was the largest in Calgary since 1932 and led to up to $6 billion in financial losses and property damage.2 Although flooding this severe is less common, there are other types of potential water damage you should be aware of. Here are five common types of water damage, along with tips on how to help prevent each:

  1. Sewer backup

    A sewer backup is when a sewer line backs up and flows into your home, causing property damage and potential health hazards.

    Tip: Installing a backwater valve on the sewer line can help prevent loss or damage. It’s also important to clean your prevention valves annually to reduce your risk of a backup.

  2. Sump pump failure

    A Sump pump failure is when your sump basin overflows or discharges, causing damage to your basement.

    Tip: Install a backup power supply (such as a secondary battery or generator) in the event of a power failure to ensure water continues evacuating from the area around your basement.

  3. Septic system backup

    A septic system backup is when your septic system overflows onto your property or into your home.

    Tip: Don’t pour cooking oils or grease down your drains or flush insoluble items down the toilet, as they could lead to a clog or backup. To help maintain your septic tank, have a professional check for leaks regularly.

  4. Overflowing eaves trough, downspout, or drains

    Overflowing eaves troughs, downspouts or drains can occur when there is a heavy rainfall. Water from eaves trough, downspouts, or drains can’t keep up and the excess water leaks into your home.

    Tip: Clean out eaves troughs at least once every season to prevent overflow during heavy rainfalls and extend downspouts about 6-8 feet3 leading away from the foundation of your home.

  5. Freshwater flooding

    Fresh water flooding is when water enters your home due to heavy rainfall, which may also cause rising water levels from a nearby lake, river, or pond.

    Tip: While flooding is more difficult to prevent, you can help minimize potential damage by keeping basement drains clear, checking and repairing any potential water entry points, and installing a sump pump.

In addition to these preventative steps, it’s a good idea to check with your insurance provider to see what your current policy covers and whether you need to add water coverage to your home insurance policy.

Servus Insurance Services | Home and Auto, a division of Johnson Inc., offers two types of water coverage that you can add to your home insurance:

Limited Sewer Backup Endorsement

This coverage protects your property from direct physical loss or damage caused by backing-up or escape of water from a sewer, sump pump, or septic system.

Enhanced Water Coverage* Endorsement

This coverage option provides all the coverage of the Limited Sewer Backup Endorsement, plus the enhanced protection against damage caused by fresh water flooding and damage caused by the escape of water from an eaves trough, downspout or drain.

We all have a tendency to worry about Mother Nature from time to time, but by taking these simple preventative measures and adding on water coverage, you can rest easy knowing you and your home are protected.

Want to know more about adding or updating your home policy with water coverage? Connect with a Servus Insurance Services | Home and Auto representative today.

 

Visit our website for more information on home insurance.

References

* Enhanced water coverage not available in SK, YK, or NT.

1 https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/personal-finance/househo...

2 http://www.calgary.ca/UEP/Water/Pages/Flood-Info/Flooding-History-Calgar...

3 http://www.doityourself.com/stry/how-to-improve-your-home-gutters-system

Disclaimer:

This article is provided for your general information only. Nothing on this site alters the terms or conditions of any insurance policy. Read your policy for a complete description of coverage and contact your insurance provider for coverage and policy details. Policy wording prevails.

Servus Insurance Services – Home and Auto (“SISHA”) is a division of Johnson Inc. (“Johnson”), a licensed insurance intermediary, and is a tradename operated under license in Alberta.  SISHA is not a subsidiary or affiliate of Servus Credit Union. This is not a solicitation by Servus Credit Union.

Home and auto policies sold through Johnson Inc. are underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Company of Canada (“RSA”) in Quebec and underwritten by Unifund Assurance Company (“Unifund”) in the rest of Canada. Auto insurance not available in BC, SK or MB. Home and auto insurance not available in NU. Johnson, Unifund, and RSA share common ownership. Eligibility requirements, limitations, exclusions or additional costs may apply, and/or may vary by province or territory.