How we determine flood risk

Here’s some information about how we evaluate your flood risk.

What factors go into assessing water risk?

Working with one of the world’s most established and advanced flood risk modeling agencies, we created a risk model that enables us to offer water damage insurance that includes overland flooding and risks associated with water, septic and sewer backup, accumulation of water from extreme rain, overflow from lakes, rivers and other nearby bodies of water, and storm surge or waves from a storm or hurricane. This flood model is recognized as one of the most advanced tools in Canadian flood mapping. It incorporates data on elevation, soil, rainfall, river flow, government-controlled defences like dams and channels, and other factors that help predict areas at risk of flooding.

How is storm surge risk determined?

The risk of storm surge is assessed in many ways. This includes historical water and sea-level rise in coastal regions, digital elevation models and loss mitigation efforts.

A flood hasn’t occurred in my area for as long as I can remember. Am I still at risk?

While historical trends are important for insurers to learn from, due to increased volatility in weather patterns, these trends are becoming less reliable. The rapid change in our environment requires the use of external data sources and models to better predict flood risk.

Factors considered in determining your risk of water damage:

  • Rainfall amounts
  • Snow accumulation
  • Proximity to water
  • Government Controlled Defences – e.g. channels, dams
  • Type of terrain
  • Elevation
  • River flow
  • Soil absorption

What is a flood zone?

Flood zones are land areas identified by professional hydrologists and water resource engineers in terms of their flood risk. Flood history is only one element used in determining flood risk. A flood may not have occurred within recorded history, but that doesn’t mean one hasn't happened in the past or won’t happen in the future.

Flood zones also consider a community's rainfall and river flow data, topography and flood control measures. Poor drainage systems, rapid accumulation of rainfall, snowmelt, inadequate drainage systems and broken water mains can all cause flooding.

Do community defences like dikes, dams, berms and sea walls protect us?

Yes, structures built for the purpose of flood protection are considered in the assessment of flood risk in your community; however, they do not completely eliminate your risk for flood damage.

What is The Co-operators doing to ensure the flood model is current?

We continue to research and collect local information and maps from communities. We recognize that some communities may be completing work to reduce their flood risk, and other communities have started to implement loss mitigation tactics. As an organization, we’re committed to reviewing our model and making updates on a regular basis to help protect our clients from numerous risks of water damage.

Let’s talk.

Comprehensive Water is currently available for homeowners in Alberta, British Columbia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Saskatchewan and Yukon. Contact your Financial Advisor to review your options for coverage limits and deductibles that meet your needs. You can also discuss the benefits of loss prevention devices like secondary automatic powered back-up sump pumps.

*Some conditions may apply, contact your local Financial Advisor for more details

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