Overland flooding happens when water flows overland and seeps into buildings through windows, doors, and cracks. The Government of Canada notes that overland flooding is one of the most frequent and costly natural hazards in Canada.
Protect your home with overland flood insurance
Overland flooding is usually caused by heavy rainfall, rapid melting of a heavy snowpack, ice jam, or the failure of a natural or constructed dam.
Overland flood insurance is an add-on to a regular policy for home insurance and usually costs extra.
How much depends on the risk of overland water flooding in your area. If you’re in a low-risk area, it will cost less to add this coverage. If you live in a high-risk zone, you’ll likely be paying more. Check with your Wyatt Dowling insurance expert for details.
In addition to covering damage from water flowing overland, overland flood insurance covers flooding from surface water accumulation and from bodies of water like lakes, rivers, or streams. It does not cover salt-water flooding.
When you add overland water coverage to your policy, it would pay to repair damage to your home and contents from overland water, minus the deductible you select on your policy.
Usually, overland flood insurance is not a stand-alone coverage and is generally purchased with sewer backup coverage.
Do I need overland flood insurance if I am a condo owner?
Overland flood insurance protection is recommended for condo owners because it will give you additional living expenses coverage if access to your condo is restricted due to flooding.
It will also protect any property you have in your condo’s storage unit on the lower level of the building and cover secondary damage caused by flooding that has impacted your unit.
Your condo corporation’s policy may not cover flood damage.
What if I am a renter?
You can add it to your renter’s policy, and it will protect you in the same ways that it helps protect condo owners.
If you’re renting an apartment in a high-rise building, it will protect what you have in basement storage, and it will cover extra living expenses if you aren’t able to stay at your place during repairs.
If you live in a basement apartment, it’s also worth it since it could damage your belongings if overland water comes into your apartment. If you’re renting a house with a furnished basement, it will be protected.
Overland flood insurance helps you avoid costs
Over the past few decades, urban flooding has been a growing problem, resulting in billions of dollars in flood damage.
Many Canadian homeowners aren't insured for overland flooding and can be left with shouldering the cost of replacing their belongings and doing the repairs.