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Water damage has become top cause of home-insurance claims

March 30th, 2017  |  Home

The Canadian Institute of Actuaries has released a study whose main finding may surprise a lot of people—but probably not those who have had to deal with the effects personally.

Out of all the different reasons for which someone might file a home insurance claim, the most common one—by an overwhelmingly wide margin—was water damage. According to the study, water damage is the culprit in 48 per cent of Canadian home claims. That put it well ahead of theft and fire, which made up 18 and four per cent of total claims, respectively. "Other" issues accounted for 30 per cent of claims.

As a result of this trend, insurance companies have taken to adjusting their policies for certain water damage situations. That includes introducing a new type of coverage for what is called overland water. It refers to instances in which the damage has been caused by water from heavy rainstorms or overflowing lakes and rivers. Mitchell & Whale Insurance Brokers Ltd. president Adam Mitchell called overland water protection "increasingly relevant now with the rising number of extreme storms."

Sewer-backup coverage is another type of coverage that is very relevant in this regard. Like overland water coverage, houses have been even more susceptible to it in recent years due to the growing number of extreme weather occurrences. It's been around for years and, as its name would imply, covers water and raw sewage that seeps in to a house, likely through the basement.

With water damage incidents on the rise, it's important to make sure all your bases are covered as a homeowner. So if you're in that position, either double check your policies to make sure you're covered or find one that gets you what you need!