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Understanding the Difference Between Flooding and Sewer Backup

July 5th, 2013  |  Insurance

With the recent flooding that Canadians have experience in Alberta and most recently in Toronto, it is a good time to outline the difference between flooding and sewer backup. With homeowners having to make insurance claims due to water damage, it is important to understand the difference between these events and how they will impact the insurance claim process.

Flooding versus sewer backup

By definition a flood occurs when a body of water overflows. In most causes it is caused by excessive rain in a short period of time or the melting of snow in the spring, causing overflow in a river.  This is a different event than a sewer backup.

Sewer backups are a result of a water backup from a drain or sewer. The main difference between the two is that flood insurance is not included in your standard home insurance policy, in most cases, whereas sewer backup coverage is normally part of your policy (talk with you insurance company for more information about your specific policy).

What is important here is to pay close attention to the wording that exists in your home owner’s policy. Many homeowners’ policies do not include coverage for damage caused by a flood or a sewer back up that is caused in part by a recent flood. This coverage is offered as part of a separate insurance policy.

Situations like this reinforce the importance for homeowners to read their policy before signing up for coverage. Know what is and what is not covered so you will not end up in a situation where you assume you have coverage when you actually do not. If you are not sure, talk to your insurance broker for clarification.

Were you affected by the flood? Are you having issues with your claim? 

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