Insurance advice for dealing with water damage

Toronto saw more “torrential” rain and flooding this weekend

Montreal, QC (Aug. 8, 2018) – Last night a storm cell over the Toronto area brought heavy rain showers that drenched the city. According to The Weather Network’s radar estimates, some spots received more than 100 mm in less than three hours, which caused extensive flooding. There were reports of street flooding and flooded basements in downtown Toronto.

“First and foremost, everyone’s priority must be their personal safety and the safety of loved ones and neighbours,” said Kim Donaldson, Vice-President, Ontario, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC). “Residents with insurance questions are encouraged to contact their insurance representative or call IBC’s Consumer Information Centre at 1‑844-2ask-IBC. We’re here to help.”

To date in 2018, insurers have paid out over $800 million in severe weather-related claims.

What to expect from insurance coverage for water damage

  • Damage as a result of sewer backup may be covered by home insurance if the coverage was purchased as an add-on to the home insurance policy. Varying amounts of sewer backup coverage are available. Check with your insurance representative to see if you have this type of coverage and, if so, how much coverage you purchased.
  • Damage to vehicles caused by water is usually covered if comprehensive or all perils auto insurance has been purchased. This coverage isn’t mandatory, so check your policy or talk to your insurance representative.
  • Not all home insurance policies in Canada cover overland flooding and only some offer coverage for groundwater seepage.
    • Overland flooding usually occurs when bodies of water, such as rivers, streams, lakes, dams and other watercourses, overflow onto dry land and cause damage.

Tips for starting the claims process

When it is safe to do so, take these steps to begin the insurance claims process:

  • Assess and document potential damage. Taking photos can be helpful.
  • Call your insurance representative to report damages or losses.
  • Keep good notes and be as detailed as possible when providing information. Be sure to keep all receipts related to cleanup.
  • Contact IBC’s Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2ask-IBC (1-844-227-5422) if you need further information about home, business or car insurance,

Currently, IBC has partnered with the Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation at the University of Waterloo and the City of Toronto to offer the Toronto Home Resilience Program. The pilot program provides information about emergency preparedness and flood risk reduction for up to 200 homeowners, and is open until all spots are filled or September 30, 2018, whichever comes first. Program participants will also get a customized, confidential Home Flood Protection Assessment with suggestions about how they can reduce their risk of basement flooding. The program is open to owners of fully detached homes, semi-detached homes and townhomes in the city of Toronto, for a subsidized fee of $95 (full value $450). For more information on the program or to register visit

About Insurance Bureau of Canada

Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is the national industry association representing Canada’s private home, auto and business insurers. Its member companies make up 90% of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance market in Canada. For more than 50 years, IBC has worked with governments across the country to help make affordable home, auto and business insurance available for all Canadians. IBC supports the vision of consumers and governments trusting, valuing and supporting the private P&C insurance industry. It champions key issues and helps educate consumers on how best to protect their homes, cars, businesses and properties.

P&C insurance touches the lives of nearly every Canadian and plays a critical role in keeping businesses safe and the Canadian economy strong. It employs more than 120,000 Canadians, pays $9 billion in taxes and has a total premium base of $52 billion.

For media releases and more information, visit IBC’s Media Centre at If you have a question about home, auto or business insurance, contact IBC’s Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2ask-IBC (1-844-227-5422).

SOURCE: Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC)

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