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Home & Property

It’s Covered, Right?

There is nothing the Advocate team enjoys more than confirming a client’s loss is covered but reality is, not all claims are covered.  Insurance is a contract that covers certain types of losses. It would be cost prohibitive to buy a policy that covers every foreseeable loss.  Your policy wording outlines what is covered, and equally as important, what types of losses are not covered so you know what to expect in the event of a loss.

There have been many changes to water damage coverage in recent years.  This is in response to the increased number of severe weather related events Canadians are experiencing, and the insurance industry’s attempt to balance increasing losses with meeting clients’ needs.  Each insurance company has their own position and own policy wordings, in terms of how they deal with water damage.  One of the benefits of working with a broker, unlike a direct writer or an agent, is that a broker works with many different insurance companies and can offer you choice.  A broker can navigate different policy wordings, let you know how the insurance company will respond in the event of a water damage claim, and can try to arrange additional coverage if you would like more protection.

Let’s look at an example of water damage.  Some people have an exterior set of stairs leading into the basement or the lower level of their home.  These stairways are often built with an external drain at the bottom, to deal with pooling water.  Let’s imagine a client discovers days later, that water seeped into the basement via the exterior door, damaging a wood floor and dry wall.

It’s Covered, Right?

It’s not a simple yes or no.  First, one must determine how and why the water seeped under the door.  Did water back up from the drain?  Was there debris on the top of the drain that prevented the water from draining properly?  Some companies will cover surface water, if the drain was covered with debris, while others won’t.  This same type of scenario can happen with window wells.

It’s not always easy to quickly confirm for a client if their water damage loss is covered.  Often an adjuster will visit the home to meet with you and determine how the water damage was caused, before confirming if coverage is provided under your policy.

There are lots of causes of water damage – sudden and severe weather, sewer backup caused by aging city infrastructure, burst pipes and even just the smallest split in an appliance’s water hose.  Despite the cause, the situation is stressful on families.

At Advocate we have a full time Personal Recovery Co-ordinator whose role is to assist our clients, step by step, through their claim.  We know claims can be stressful and confusing.  You shouldn’t have to navigate a loss on your own!

When it comes to coverage options, we’re also here for you.  As brokers, we can source different insurance solutions for you and explain coverages but it is ultimately your decision about what coverage to purchase.  Some people have a low tolerance for risk and are willing to pay more premium to know they have additional coverage and protection.  Others are more comfortable with accepting higher risk of uncovered losses, in order to keep their premium down.  In these instances they “self-insure” certain types of losses, paying out of pocket when a claim occurs.

Insurance is about finding the balance of what you want to self-insure and what losses you want to transfer to an insurance company to look after.  As brokers, we are risk management experts, providing options and helping you make educated decisions about your insurance.  Your home is likely your largest personal asset.  Don’t wait until a loss occurs to think about what type of coverage you want, especially when it comes to water damage.  We’re seeing much higher frequencies of water losses and the damage can be significant to families.

Contact us today to speak about what type of water damage protection is offered by your insurance company.   We’d be happy to look into other options if you’d like alternate or additional water damage coverage.