IBC offers advice to those affected by Northern Alberta flooding

IBC offers advice to those affected by Northern Alberta flooding | Insurance Business Canada

IBC offers advice to those affected by Northern Alberta flooding

In response to the devastating flooding that struck northern Alberta late in April, the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) has issued an advisory for flood victims to help them navigate the insurance process.

The bureau advised that damage resulting from sewer backup may be covered by regular homeowners insurance, if the coverage was included in the policy or was purchased as an add-on. Policyholders should reach out to their insurance representative to discuss the details of their coverage.

IBC also offered a reminder that residential business overland flood insurance coverages are optional, and must be purchased as an add-on to insurance policies to be covered for the risk. But the bureau additionally cautioned that the availability of such insurance is typically limited in areas of high flood risk.

Flood damage to vehicles is usually covered if policyholders have comprehensive or all perils insurance coverage. However, just like overland flood insurance, this type of coverage is not mandatory. Policyholders are again advised to check with their insurance representative for more details.

IBC also shared a helpful guide on how to tell the difference between homeowners insurance, optional sewer backup, and overland flood coverage:

  • Typical homeowner's, condo and tenant's policies cover water damage caused by plumbing leaks from burst pipes, malfunctioning taps, improper connections and hot water tank failures.
  • Optional add-on sewer backup coverage covers water damage caused by the sudden backup of sewers, pipes, drains, septic systems and sump pumps.
  • Optional overland flood coverage covers water damage caused by the overflow of lakes, ponds or rivers; surface water from heavy rainfall or melting snow; and ground water or the rising of the water table, causing water to enter a home at the ground level or by seeping through windows, doors and walls.

“Our thoughts are with the people of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo and Mackenzie County who have been impacted by these floods,” said IBC Western vice-president Celyeste Power.

Power gave assurances that while flood insurance is “fairly new” to the market and has limited availability, the insurance industry is ready to help customers through the post-flood recovery phase.