Guelph, Ontario-based insurance and investment co-operative, The Co-operators Group Limited, has announced that Comprehensive Water, which includes overland flood damage coverage, is now available to homeowners in Saskatchewan, Northwest Territories, and Yukon.

The coverage provides protection from storm surge, overflowing lakes, rivers and creeks, and sewer or septic backup.

Driven by the increase in extreme weather incidents, the package is intended to be a response to risks posed by storm surge. The Co-operators has recognized that rising water levels and waves generated by storm events pose a significant flood risk in coastal regions.

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“Overland flooding has been identified as the most pervasive and costliest cause of damage to Canadian homes, yet most are inadequately protected against this growing risk. This is why we first introduced overland flood insurance in Canada,” said Rob Wesseling, president and CEO of The Co-operators.

The flood insurance market in Canada has been growing rapidly since 2015 after the creation of The National Disaster Mitigation Program (NDMP). The NDMP was intended to be a proactive measure to help the federal government and Canadians better prepare for natural disasters, especially flooding, which has surpassed fire as the leading cause of home insurance claims.

Still, a study published earlier this year by the University of Waterloo found that the insurance industry as a whole is underprepared for extreme weather.

Another study by Partners for Action Network, found that 94 per cent of Canadians living in high-risk flood zones are unaware of their risk. An online tool from the Insurance Bureau of Canada allows homeowners to better understand flood insurance offerings.

In 2015, The Co-operators became the first Canadian insurer to offer overland flood insurance in Alberta and expanded this coverage to Ontario in 2016. According to The Co-operators, it is the only insurer to offer Canadian homeowners protection against damage caused by storm surge.

More information on The Co-operators flood insurances offerings, including a personalized flood assessment and inquiries about coverage, are available at water.cooperators.ca.

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