Guelph, Ontario-based insurance and investment co-operative, The Co-operators, has announced the addition of storm surge coverage to its Comprehensive Water product.

Waves caused by storms and hurricanes, known as storm surges, present a significant flood risk, especially in coastal regions where extreme weather patterns have noticeably intensified with the changing climate. According to the company, prior to this policy, storm surges have been uninsurable.

“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. As a co-operative, it’s our priority to protect the financial security of Canadians. This is why we first introduced overland flood insurance in Canada,” said Rob Wesseling, president and CEO of The Co-operators. “Now, with the inclusion of storm surge coverage, we’re adding another layer of protection and providing peace of mind for those who need it most.”

Homeowners in British Columbia and Nova Scotia can now add this coverage to protect against the most common causes of water damage: overflowing lakes, rivers and creeks, sewer or septic backup, heavy rain, and storm surge.

“The insurance industry has a critical role to play in building resilience in Canadian communities and addressing major risks like flooding,” said Paul Kovacs, executive director, Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction. “It’s encouraging to see companies like The Co-operators providing risk-appropriate options for coverage, while taking an active role in educating Canadians on their flood risk.”

According to a study by Partners for Action Network, 94 per cent of Canadians living in high-risk flood zones are unaware of their risk.

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