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When it rains it pours – Is Water Damage covered by Insurance?

Any homeowner who has reached the bottom step of their basement to discover an inch of water will be intimately aware of how much damage water can cause.  Whether it is a faulty sump pump, leaky flashing around your chimney or a catastrophic plumbing failure, one thing is certain – the mess has to be cleaned up and repairs can be costly.

According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, water is the leading cause of property damage in Canada. Losses related to water damage cost Canadian insurers and policyholders at least $1.3 billion every year. Water damage can lead to expensive bills and often homeowners rely on their home insurance policy to offset the cost of this type of property damage.

Common Causes of Water Damage

Basement floods are one of the most common contributors of water damage in your home. According to Insurance Bureau of Canada, basement flooding can be caused by a number of factors, including:

  • improper disposal of materials such as fats, oils, grease and diapers;
  • tree roots growing through cracks in the water lines and causing blockages;
  • sewer backups caused by overloaded stormwater and sanitary sewer infrastructure;
  • frozen water pipes; and
  • illegal hookups allowing excess water into the lines. Outside stairwell drains, sump pumps, roof leaders and drain gutters should never be connected to the sewer system.

Will the Cost of Repairs be covered by Insurance?

Some, but not all, types of water damage are covered by the usual homeowner’s policy of insurance.  In general, most policies will cover water damage caused by the sudden and accidental escape of water from a watermain, indoor plumbing, heating or air-conditioning systems.  However, many standard policies do not cover water damage caused by flooding which is the result of rainstorms or from the backing up or escape of water from a sewer, sump or septic tank.

Whether or not a specific loss will be covered, and to what extent, will depend upon the wording of your particular policy and whether additional coverages have been purchased.

Contact Ferguson Barristers

No matter what the cause of the water damage to your property, having a qualified insurance lawyer review your policy and any offers of compensation from your insurance company before you sign off, is the best way to ensure you are fully compensated according to your contract of insurance. Our team of experienced Ontario Injury Lawyers can help ensure that your insurance company pays the appropriate restoration and replacement costs that are owed to you under your policy.

If you have suffered serious water damage to your home, contact us at 1-800-563-6348 to arrange a free initial consultation with one of our lawyers.

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