Sewer backup: it’s enough to put you in a foul mood

Sewer backup: it’s enough to put you in a foul mood

You just arrived home from work and discover that the torrential rainstorms during the day have left 10 cm of water in your basement. Are you covered by your insurance?

National Bank General Insurance
30 December 2015

The water may have gotten in through a basement window or a crack in the foundations or – an even more unpleasant scenario – the sewer may have backed up or overflowed. In all these cases, you’re only insured if you opted to add the endorsement for damage from ground water or basement flooding including sewer backup, which is optional coverage.

What’s covered?

Cleaning, decontamination, necessary repairs to the building, replacement and/or repairs to your personal property (“movables”), relocation (if necessary)… it doesn’t take long for the costs to rise to tens of thousands of dollars! But be careful: Your insurer will only compensate you according to the coverage you selected!

Fortunately, prevention works

Putting in a backflow valve to prevent backups, inspecting your foundations in the spring to spot any new cracks, installing basement window wells…  there are a whole range of simple things you can do to minimize the risk of damage.

Do I have enough coverage?

What if your apartment is on the third floor and you don’t think you’d be affected? Even though it’s a rare occurrence, sewer backups have reached as high as the 14th floor of a multi-storey building! It’s always smart to have at least minimal protection because you’re better safe than sorry.

If you’re a condo owner, you can get protection for situations such as insufficient insurance coverage by the condo corporation (“syndicate of co-owners”).

Finally, if you have a basement and/or you’re a homeowner, you should take into account the value of the personal property that could be damaged, the costs of repairs to the building (which vary depending on whether the basement is finished or not) as well as relocation costs in order to determine the amount of coverage you need.

To find out for sure whether you have enough coverage, the best approach is to contact one of our general insurance representatives.


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