Following on last week’s announcement from the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) regarding Atlantic Canada flooding, the IBC has released an online tool to increase consumer knowledge of home insurance coverage from water infiltration.
Accessible on the Infoinsurance.ca web site, this online animation tool features a home beset by all kinds of water damage. Web browsers can test their knowledge of insurance coverage, compare their results, and share them on social media.
Whether caused by climate change, outdated infrastructure, poor building maintenance or domestic accidents, water damage has been a real scourge over the past 10 years or so. In fact, water damage accounts for 50 per cent of the total cost of claims paid out by insurers in Quebec each year and the trend is rising.
“Consumers can use this new tool to better understand what is and isn’t covered, and they can find out what coverage is available on the market”, said Line Crevier, supervisor, Technical Affairs and Insurance Information Centre, at IBC. “We hope that in doing so they’ll be encouraged to take steps to better protect their homes and avoid the inconveniences caused by water damage.”
While some damage may be inevitable, IBC reminds consumers they can help reduce claims, thanks to a few prevention measures. For example, making sure to change their water heater every 10 years; checking and replacing washing machine and dishwasher hoses; not leaving the house while the washing machine and dishwasher are on; asking a friend or neighbour to check that everything is OK if they’re away from home for more than 7 days (especially in winter); leaving the heat on in the winter; removing snow and ice from windows and eaves troughs, etc.
When it comes to vehicles, for example, water damage is covered under an auto insurance policy, provided policyholders chose “Coverage against perils other than collision or upset” or “All Perils” coverage.