BCAA urges homeowners to shore up homes from heavy rainfall

BURNABY, BC, Jan. 18, 2010 – Heavy rainfall is presenting homeowners with a number of flooding and property damage problems across the province. BCAA Insurance is reminding homeowners to take precautions against water damage and understand what is and what isn’t included in their insurance policy.

To avoid water damage that may or may not be covered by your home insurance policy, BCAA urges homeowners to take the following precautions:

Preventing damage…

  • Walk around the perimeter of your house during downpours to see where gutters, downspouts and drainage systems may not be performing properly.
  • Ensure drainpipes are directing water away from your house.
  • If you live in an area where there is still snow on the ground, clear snow and ice from around basement windows, exterior drains, gutters and downspouts.
  • Inspect the street in front of your home and report any blocked storm drains to the municipality.
  • Ensure sump pumps are fully functional.
  • If you live in a house or area where wet basement problems are common, ensure heirlooms, family photos or important belongings are raised off the floor. Store these items in plastic bins, not in cardboard boxes.

If you experience water entering your home…

  • Disconnect all electronics and electrical equipment in the room and move them to a safe, dry location.
  • Place your furniture up on blocks. It will help protect the furniture from the water, as well as protect the carpet against damage from wet upholstery dyes, wood and rust stains.
  • Run fans in the area affected by water damage. It is important to increase airflow to the damaged area as much as possible during the few hours immediately after any type of water damage.
  • Only use a wet/dry vacuum cleaner to remove water.
  • Contact your insurance company promptly.

What’s covered and what’s not…

  • Water backing up from an internal drain, like a toilet, would typically be covered under most policies.
  • Most policies do not cover loss or damage resulting from:
    • continuous or repeated seepage
    • rising ground waters
    • surface waters
  • Coverage for the escape of water from a private external drain differs among many policies. Check with your insurance advisor to understand how your policy responds in this situation.

Homeowners or tenants who have questions concerning their coverage against water damage are advised to consult their local home insurance advisor.

About BCAA

BCAA is the largest organization of its kind in B.C., with over 100 years experience and gross annual sales of nearly $400 million from its membership, insurance and travel businesses. A BCAA Membership can be found in the wallets of nearly 790,000 British Columbians and in one-in-four B.C. households. For the past two years, BCAA has received the highest score in Canada for home insurance customer satisfaction in a J.D. Power and Associates study. And, for the past four years, BCAA has been named one the 50 Best Employers in Canada by international HR consultants Hewitt Associates and the Globe & Mail’s Report on Business magazine. To learn more about BCAA’s products, services and member advocacy, visit www.bcaa.com. For more information on the BCAA Traffic Safety Foundation visit www.tsf-bcaa.com.