Spring melt and excess rainfall are among the most common risks for Water Damage, Flooding, and Sewer Backup.
Typically when we think of spring, we think of sunny days, bright-coloured flowers, and green lawns. “April showers bring May flowers,”….right? That may be true, but flowers aren’t the only thing the rain follows.
If your region has had heaps of snow late in the season, it could result in a very fast melt, or if you have buckets of rain, it may have you pondering where all that water is going.
Did you know that most insurance policies do not include Water Damage Coverage? This is an optional endorsement with an additional premium your broker adds with your consent. Water Damage coverage is broken down into four different risks. Some insurance companies offer the endorsement as a package, including some or all of these water risks, whereas others sell them separately. You may need to discuss this with your broker to determine if you are covered.
Flood – The rising of, breaking out, or overflow of any body of water or watercourse, whether natural or man-made.
Surface Water – Water on the ground’s surface where it doesn’t usually accumulate under ordinary circumstances.
Ground Water – Water in the soil beneath the surface of the ground. Coverage will be provided only when it’s sudden and accidental and related to a surface water flood.
Sewer Backup – Water or sewage backs up, escapes, or overflows from the sewer, sump, or septic tank.
There are many ways to prevent a disaster from spring melt and water damage:
- Remove remaining snow off of roofs.
- Remove debris that could slow the flow of water.
- Check eaves troughs and gutters for signs of ice dams.
- Shovel snow away from the foundation of your home.
- Check the grading in the yard to see that it is sloping away from the foundation, allowing water to melt to lead away from your home.
- Extend downspouts away from the home by at least two meters.
- Check backwater prevention valves on the main line of your sewer; if your home has one – is it in working condition?
- Check sump pumps and pit to ensure everything is in good condition and ready for meltwater.
- Check basements regularly for signs of water.
First, if a water loss occurs, ensure you and your family are safe. Once you are ready, contact your insurance broker to report your claim. An adjuster will be assigned to you as soon as possible to assess the damage. Professional cleaning expenses are considered a part of the insurance claim, so do not feel you need to do it yourself.
- Take reasonable steps you can to minimize the extent of the damage. Seek professional advice on how to clean up.
- Don’t throw anything out. Store damaged items reasonably safely so the adjuster can see them.
- Have any appliances (including furnaces) that have come in contact with water checked by a qualified electrition, dealer, or service person before you use them.
- Do not touch electrical systems or panels until you know it is safe, especially in wet or damp conditions.
- Move damaged belongings to a dry area with good ventilation.
- Take pictures or record a video of the damaged property to give to the adjuster.
If you live in Alberta or British Columbia and are looking for Home Insurance, we are here to answer any questions you may have about our range of home insurance products and services. Contact our team at 1.844.544.4663 and see what makes us Harbord – The Home Insurance People™!