The telephone survey, commissioned for Public Safety Canada last summer, found that 40% of respondents answered that “the government will take care of me and my home if there’s major overland flooding.” There were a total of 1,234 participants in the survey, aged 25 years or older.
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Times have changed since the severe floods in 2013, and Canadians cannot simply expect government relief to bail them out of a pinch, an expert said.
“The polling data shows that a large portion of Canadians still believe that the federal government … will provide compensation for their home and possessions in the case of large-scale flooding,” University of Waterloo climate-adaptation expert Blair Feltmate told CBC News.
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“For the vast majority of people, this is not the case; this perception highlights the need for continued consumer education and the need to set the right expectations to ensure homeowners prepare financially to support themselves in the event of flooding …”
The survey also found that 54% of respondents said that they were not concerned about flooding, while 74% had done nothing to protect their homes. Another 41% disagreed that the government would offer relief.
Under the Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements (DFAA), homeowners are not qualified for reimbursement for repairs that could have been covered by their policies. To adapt to this, private insurers in recent years have begun to offer “overland flood insurance”, add-ons to basic coverage with occasionally costly premiums adjusted depending on how likely a policyholder’s neighborhood is to flood.
Thanks to the confusing changes, some homeowners could be unaware that they might not see compensation from the government following the next disaster.
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