Extreme Weather Risk Assessment Coverage Prevent Damage

Extreme weather in Canada

In Canada, water has surpassed home fires as the most frequent and most costly cause of damage to properties - affecting home and cottage owners, and apartment and condo dwellers alike. In 2013, as a result of flooding, a record $3.2 billion was paid out to policyholders in southern Alberta and Toronto alone. While incidents of extreme weather continue to rise, 94% of Canadians who live in flood zones are unaware of their potential risk; worse still, less than 30% are taking steps to protect themselves and their property against the threat.

Learn how you can become more water and flood resilient:

How does that affect insurance?

2016 was one of the worst years on record for claims - following the Fort McMurray wildfire, where costs neared $3.6 billion in insured losses.

2013 was Canada’s worst year ever for weather-related damage:

Severe flooding in southern Alberta - the costliest insured natural disaster in Canadian history - caused more than $1.72 billion in insured losses.

A multi-day rainstorm in Toronto resulted in an estimated $65.2 million in water damage.

Since the 1980s, claims payouts from severe weather have doubled every five to 10 years.

Extreme weather is always a factor. But, more often, it’s natural and structural causes - like heavy rainfall, or a sudden septic- or sewer-system backup - that wreak havoc on our lives and our belongings. Damage is heavier for homes that have basements and other below-ground levels.

In many cases, condo owners share the responsibility for common areas within their building (which may include parking, storage units, on-site gyms, the lobby area, etc.). If the condo board doesn’t have adequate funds to cover damage, condo owners could be responsible for paying their share when it comes time for repairs.

For multi-floored condo and apartment owners/tenants, severe flooding and water damage could also mean a loss of access to the premises altogether, which may mean living elsewhere for any duration of time. Comprehensive Water would help to cover costs associated with loss of use.

While seasonal properties are not much different from a home, proximity to water - as well as additional structures on the property, such as docks and sheds - should be considered. You should also take precautions for the times you are not going to be using it (e.g., a summer property that is closed for the winter months).

Typically, landlords are responsible for damage to the structure, while tenants should be prepared to cover any costs related to the damage of their belongings as well as any costs associated with loss of use.
How are we responding?

At The Co-operators, we pay attention to the changing and emerging needs of Canadians. Prior to 2015, for example, Canadians couldn’t purchase the insurance coverage they needed for overland flooding caused by a natural or man-made body of water (a creek, stream, river or lake), or surge and waves from a storm or hurricane. While coverage was available for certain flood-related damage (like sewer backups), the extreme flooding in Alberta and Toronto only reinforced the need for better water damage protection.

With Comprehensive Water coverage, you can easily protect your family, your residence and your belongings from sudden and accidental water damage. Learn more.


Are you at risk?

Where you live and the weather can play a big role in determining your risk of water damage.
Find out if your home is at risk

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To get the right coverage for your risk level, budget and lifestyle needs, contact your Financial Advisor.