Water Woes: Basement Fooding and Sewer Backup

When you walk down your basement stairs after heavy rains to find a few inches of murky looking water – your first thought shouldn’t have to be ‘Will my insurance cover this?’.

As with any insurance, it’s always a good idea to consider your options and unique needs before something happens. Depending on where you live, things like overland flooding, overflow from a lake or river, sewer or water backups, frozen pipe breaks and extreme weather may all be factors.

Here are a few things to consider:

  • Contact your city to know if grants or programs are in place to assist if flooding occurs.
  • Review your areas history of flood and heavy rains as an indicator of what you may need coverage for.
  • Have your property assessed for changes that may minimize impact. Sump pumps, backflow preventers and extended downspouts are some easy options.
  • Does your property have a history of flooding or seasonal issues with things like heavy rain, snow melt or a sewer and drainage system that hasn’t been upgraded?
  • Consider your layout. While insurance can help with repairs and damage, some thing are irreplaceable. Consider storing electronics, valuable items and personal items like photos on a higher level, or invest in shelving and waterproof storage containers to keep items dry and off the floor.

It’s always important to choose the coverage that’s right for you and your insurance broker can help you determine things like the amount of coverage you should have based on your individual needs, the needs specific to your property and benefits like flexible deductibles.

Some great places to start are with your regional municipalities and cities. Resources like this one from the city of Oshawa are excellent resources, while Durham region offers helpful PDF references.

Here are a few others: