Severe Weather Caused Record Damage in 2016.  Are you at risk in 2017?

Severe Weather Caused Record Damage in 2016. Are you at risk in 2017?

“Severe weather due to climate change is already costing Canadians billions of dollars annually.” – Don Forgeron, President and CEO, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC)

carDo you remember what you were doing on September 30th last year?  Thousands of Windsor families can answer that question without hesitation; they were dealing with flooded basements and homes damaged by the severe flash flooding of the previous two days.

More than 150 mm of rain hit the worst affected parts of Windsor, while Tecumseth received up to 195 mm of rain during the storms.  To put that in context, Tecumseth averages just 89 mm of rain in a month!  More than 1,700 properties were damaged by the flooding, including an estimated 10% of homes in Tecumseth.

The IBC reported $108-million in insured damage from the floods, but the total damage was much higher than that.

As reported by Maureen Revait from Blackburn News, “Many residents did not have flood or sewer backup insurance and were not covered for the damage in their homes. The total amount of damage was likely much higher than the $108-million in claimed damage.”

basementOntario IBC Vice-President, Kim Donaldson, noted “It is important that Canadians understand their insurance policies and that they know what’s covered before bad weather strikes.”.

That’s right.  The onus is on you.  You’re on your own.  If your home insurance policy doesn’t cover flooding or sewer backup, you could be out-of-pocket for tens of thousands of dollars.  When was the last time that your home insurance agent or broker called to review your policy with you?

Last year, I wrote a two-part series about the causes of sewer backup and the many insurance horror stories that Canadians faced when making a claim.  Since writing those articles, I’ve conducted home insurance policy reviews with dozens of Canadians, the majority of whom learned that they were at risk in the event of a claim.  While I’ve been able to help guard those families against an insurance nightmare, too many people still think “It Won’t Happen to Me”.

“My neighbor suffered $63,000 in the Windsor rainstorm a few months ago.  Their home insurance policy only covered the first $25,000 – they’re out of pocket $38,000.  The expense has devastated their financial plans.” – Windsor Financial Planner

floodSewer backup and water damage are the largest causes of home insurance claims in Canada.  Unfortunately, homeowners are often unclear on what is covered in their policies and what is not.   You can receive coverage for sewer backup damage to your home, but it may require adding an endorsement to your policy and paying extra premiums.  Water damage coverages, particularly for sewer backup claims, have generally decreased over the last few years.  Many homeowners are completely in the dark about those decreases.

My regular readers will recall the story of Tony Grassi, who suffered $50,000 damage to his finished basement during the Windsor floods.  His insurance company initially capped his coverage at $5,000, eventually increasing it to $15,000 (less a $1,000 deductible).  Even with the increase, Grassi was out-of-pocket $35,000!  The response from the insurance company representative was sadly predictable:

“We also have clear guidelines and business protocols to guide agents and customers through the details of their policy so they understand their coverage at time of purchase.” – Statement from Allstate Canada

That may be true, but what if the policy was purchased years ago?  When was the last time that your home insurance agent or broker called to review your policy with you?  Are you aware of any changes that have occurred in your coverage over the years?

flood 2Can you live with becoming a statistic?  Can you really afford to keep thinking “It won’t happen to me”?

Our Home Insurance Policy Reviews start for as low as $99.  Don’t take the risk of receiving nothing when you need to make an insurance claim.  Call me today at 1-800-799-9040 to make sure that your family is adequately protected.

Between the increased frequency of severe storms and the diminished capacity of aging, in-ground municipal infrastructure to handle sudden flooding, there is a growing chance that your home will suffer from sewer backup flooding at some point.  If your insurance coverage fails to protect you, the costs to your family can be huge.  Don’t take that chance.  Be aware, be informed, and stay protected!

20160823-homeguard-stills_0048_full_res_final-1Larry Hoover is the President of HomeGuard, Canada’s premier provider of Property Inventory Solutions and Home Insurance Policy Reviews. 

When reviewing a policy, he always finds something that you need to clarify or change.  He helps home owners get more money faster when they need to make a claim.

Contact him today at 1-800-799-9040 to HomeGuard Your Home.