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Overland Versus Ground Water Coverage in Ontario — What Is the Difference?

Overland Versus Ground Water Coverage in Ontario — What Is the Difference?

March, 21 2022

Flooding, rising groundwater, and other sources of water damage can create a costly burden for homeowners across Ontario and all of Canada. Regardless of where the water originates, as a homeowner you just need it taken care of — but the source of the flooding is an important distinction to your insurance company.

The record-breaking floods that devastated British Columbia in 2021 are just one example of the extreme weather conditions around the country causing disruption and chaos through flooding. All of Canada is at risk from flooding events, and many people live and work near rivers, lakes, and streams across the country. The damage from flood events can be costly and difficult to repair, so having the right homeowner’s insurance in place to protect yourself is critical.

Read on to learn more about the difference between overland water and ground water coverage, then contact us at Duliban Insurance for more help.

The Difference Between Overland Water Coverage and Ground Cover Water Coverage

Many homeowners across Canada need some type of insurance coverage to help protect them from flooding. Most Ontario home insurance policies do not cover flooding without an additional endorsement or addition to the policy — which also means an extra cost. As the climate continues to change, experts predict shifts in weather causing storms to be more catastrophic and less predictable. This could mean homeowners will see flooding in places where they did not in the past, making the need for coverage for flooding events even more important.

Your homeowner’s or condo policy will cover some types of water damage to your home, depending on the cause of the water damage. Some types of losses commonly covered by homeowners or condo insurance policies include accidental damages to your home and personal property caused by plumbing leaks from malfunctioning taps, burst pipes, or hot water tank failures.

Having the proper insurance coverage to protect you and your home from a potentially devastating water event is critical. Ask your agent for more help understanding which coverages you may need — and which ones you qualify for.

Overland Water Coverage

Overland water coverage is available to many homeowners. This coverage helps to protect you from the sudden accumulation of water in your home from various sources, including:

  • Overflow from freshwaters like lakes and rivers (saltwater overflow is usually excluded from coverage)
  • Build up from heavy rain
  • Snow and ice melt and spring run-off
  • Dam breaks and leaks
  • Sewer backup from heavy rains or freshwater overflow

Many homeowners will qualify to purchase overland water coverage. But homes located in high-risk flood zones, those within 100 feet of freshwater sources, and homes with downward sloping driveways may all be excluded from coverage. Talk with your agent for more information about whether your home qualifies for overland water coverage.

Ground Water Coverage

Ground water coverage helps protect homeowners from damages caused by sudden and accidental water damage from underground sources. Water can enter through areas such as basement walls or floors, or through below-grade cracks in the foundation. Rainwater or water damage from the rising water table or septic tank back-up may be covered.

Sewer Back-up Coverage

Sewer back-up coverage is an additional coverage homeowners may need to consider. Coverage is designed to protect homeowners from losses caused by the sudden and accidental backup of sewers, drainage systems, septic systems, sump pumps, and other plumbing or pipes.

Most Ontario home insurance policies do not cover damages caused by sewer back-up, but the costs to mitigate and repair these damages can be high. Homeowners may be able to purchase sewer backup coverage as an endorsement or add-on to their policy at an additional cost.

Sewer back-up coverage can help cover costs like:

  • Cleaning up after the sewer back-up
  • Repairing damages caused by the sewer back-up
  • Repairing or replacing personal property damaged during the sewer back-up

If your home is located in a neighborhood with a history of sewer back-up issues, you may want to consider this coverage. Your agent can help you understand your risk of sewer back-up and other ways to mitigate this risk. You may be able to install a device to help prevent sewer back-ups, like a valve or backflow prevention device.

Water Damage Exclusions

While purchasing additional coverage through overland water coverage or ground water coverage helps to protect homeowners from sudden and accidental water damage, there are some common exclusions to know about:

  • Water damage caused by wear and tear. The usual wear and tear to homes is not covered by insurance, and the same holds true for water damage caused by maintenance issues. For example, a leaky roof that causes water damage over time would generally be an excluded cause of loss because the damage is not sudden or accidental.
  • Coastal flooding, flooding from tsunamis, or other ocean water damage.
  • Damage caused by rain, snow, ice, or other water that enters the home through an open window.
  • Damage from leaks and seepage that happens over time.

How to Purchase Overland Water Coverage and Ground Water Coverage

The costs for the different types of flood insurance in Canada can differ greatly from insurance company to insurance company. And depending on where your home is located and its proximity to freshwater sources, you could pay more than you anticipated.

The best way to secure your lowest rate for flood coverage is by shopping around and comparing rates of different insurers. Try our free online quote tool and reach out to us at Duliban Insurance for help finding the best fit for your flood coverage needs. We work with all the top insurers in Canada. We will review your current policy and help you understand which coverages you may need — then help you get the best rate.

How Do I Learn More?

To learn more about overland and groundwater coverage in Ontario, contact the experts at Duliban Insurance. Our licensed experts will be happy to answer any questions you have.

External Links:

  1. NY Times
  2. IBC
  3. Financial Consumer Agency Canada

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