Severe Weather Precautionary Measures

This past month has brought a series of weather events to Ontario residents. The primary issue has been water damage caused by sewer back-up and flooding. Water damage can be very dangerous and we want to remind customers to take the appropriate steps to protect themselves and their belongings. If you have a purchased a sewer back-up extension for your homeowners policy, water damage resulting from sewer back-up is covered. However, flooding for residents is not covered. If you are a victim of overland flooding, please contact your local municipality for disaster assistance.

Please consider the following steps to take care of yourself and your property.

  • Avoid direct contact with human waste, dirty water or electrical hazards
  • Wear protective gear if entering a part of your home that has been affected
  • Turn off electrical power to the affected area if safe to do so
  • Unplug and remove electrical appliances if safe to do so
  • Move furniture or secure on raised blocks to help prevent water damage
  • Ventilate and dry the area by opening windows and doors or use fans and dehumidifiers
  • Complete the Proof of Loss form and begin making an itemized list of your contents. If you must remove items from your home take photographs if possible.

Insurance coverage (provided by the Insurance Bureau of Canada)

  • Water damage in a basement due to a sewer backup is only covered if specific sewer backup coverage has been purchased.
  • In certain circumstances, homeowners who are unable to return home due to insurable damage are entitled to additional living expenses.
  • Damage to vehicles from water is usually covered if comprehensive or all perils coverage auto insurance has been purchased. This coverage isn't mandatory, so check your policy.
  • Overland flooding resulting in water overflowing onto dry land and causing damage is not covered in home insurance policies in Canada. (Speak to your insurance representative for more information on how you can protect your home.)
  • If you must remove items from your home, take photographs if possible.

In the event of Power Outage (provided by the Government of Canada)

  • Turn off all tools, appliances and electronic equipment, and turn the thermostat(s) for the home heating system down to minimum to prevent damage from a power surge when power is restored
  • Don't open your freezer or fridge unless it is absolutely necessary. A full freezer will keep food frozen for 24 to 36 hours if the door remains closed.

(article provided by Intact Insurance)