The different types of water damage

A bath tub or sink that overflows, an aquarium that empties on the floor, a pipe that bursts: these types of water damage are generally covered for tenants, condominium owners and homeowners. This involves water inside your home. As long as the damage occurs unexpectedly and you’ve kept your house well heated, it should be covered by your basic home insurance.

Above ground water damage

Water leaking through the walls, roof, doors or windows is not typically covered, but it can be with additional coverage. This protection covers damage coming from a source of water outside your home, as long as it occurs above ground. Again, there’s a condition: the leak cannot be slow and gradual; it has to be an unexpected incident.

Sewer backup

Sewer backup is when the flow of wastewater is reversed. Instead of flowing out of your home to the water main, the reverse occurs. We tend to think that it only happens in the basement and ground floor, but cases were seen where sewer backups occurred up to the 16th floor of a building! This coverage is optional for everyone at National Bank Insurance Auto | Home.

The amount of coverage should be based on the possible impact of such an event: items that might be damaged, possible damage to the building, clean-up costs.

Obviously, the odds of such an event occurring for a tenant living on the 8th floor are much lower than for one living in a semi-basement. Tenants also don’t need to be concerned about the costs of renovating the floors and walls, but homeowners are responsible for their building. A finished basement will require greater protection than a cellar or crawl space. Tenants will, however, have the same clean-up costs, which often start well above $10,000.

Water inlet

This protection offered by National Bank Insurance Auto | Home is for homeowners only. It covers, up to $10,000, the work to repair the water inlet outside your home. The piece of pipe between the inlet valve and the foundation wall is excluded from our basic policy and is not covered by the city. If this pipe breaks, it has to be dug out and replaced.

This protection can cover the costs for digging and renovating your landscape. Note that this coverage is available only for houses that are less than 40 years old or where the water inlet has been changed in the last 40 years.

Which protections are necessary?

Water damage accounts for nearly half of all home insurance claims*. Being the event that occurs most frequently, a minimum of protection is advised. How much? Consider the value of your property that may be exposed to water and the extent of work that would be required in the event of a loss.

Tenants and condominium owners should primarily think about clean-up and their personal property, homeowners should also consider the work necessary. There’s no miracle solution, no universal amount, you have to take the time to think about it.

For further information, discover our protections in the event of water damage.


*Reference: Water Damage Risk and Canadian Property Insurance Pricing, KPMG for the Canadian Institute of Actuaries, 2014

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