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  • Jun12Tue

    Are You Covered For Water Damage?

    June 12, 2018 L.D. Dermody Insurance Team
    Are you covered for water damage?
    Are you covered for water damage?

    Water damage is now the number one cause of claims for Ontario homeowners.  The amount of damage can be so devastating that it’s prudent to know what’s covered by your home insurance policy.    Many people just assume they have coverage but there are many different kinds of water damage and not all of them are covered.

     In general, policies only pay for the accidental and sudden escape of water.  This includes a burst pipe, overflow from a toilet or sink or a broken hose to a washing machine.

    Types of water damage not covered include:

    • Leakage and seepage through the basement walls (this is seen as a maintenance issue)
    • Walter infiltration
    • Water escape from freezing pipes, unless certain conditions of the policy are met
    • Sewer backup (you may purchase this coverage separately)
    • Flood or Overland Water (you may also purchase this coverage separately)
    • Rain entering through an open window or door

    Note that insurance is not a maintenance contract.  It’s not designed to respond to water damage caused by gradual wear or tear, lack of maintenance or a continual event.  Examples of these would be:

    • Leaking faucets or pipes causing damage to walls, ceilings or floors.
    • Leakage and seepage through the basement walls or foundation
    • An aging roof that is deteriorating, showing signs of wear and needs to be  repaired
    • Mold, rot or corrosion
    • Losses resulting from a general physical deterioration of the structure

    Homeowners may think that since they are seeing the damage for the first time it should be covered, but often the damage is the result of something that has been on going over time and therefore it may not be covered.

    There are a number of optional coverages that you may add to your policy in order to obtain the best water damage protection possible:

    Sewer Backup.

    Coverage in the event water accidently backs up from the sewer system and flows into your home

    Overland Water or Surface Water.  This coverage will vary from one insurer to the next.  In general it may include damage caused by lake and river overflow, heavy rain or rapid snow melt that enters your home from a point at or above the ground surface.

    Water & Sewer Lines

    Coverage to repair or replace your water service and/or sewer line due to a loss resulting from a leak, break, tear, rupture or collapse of the line.

    Ground Water

    Damage caused by water entering your home suddenly and accidentally through a basement wall, foundation or floor.


    As nobody wants a costly water damage claim we suggest the following:

    • If your area is susceptible to sewer back-up, make sure your home has a back-flow valve and plugs for drains, toilets and other sewer connectors installed.
    • If you don't have a sump pump, install one.  If you do have a sump pump, test it to make sure it's working.
    • Have a battery backup for your sump pump.
    • Store items in plastic containers or on shelving at least 12" off the basement floor
    • Keep eavestroughs and downspouts clear of debris and make sure water flow is directed away from the foundation
    • Finally, as simple as it sounds, make sure your lot is properly graded to direct run off away from the foundation and entranceways


    Bottom line know what your policy covers and what your options are.  Do regular maintenance of your home every spring and fall and make any repairs needed immediately in order to avoid surprises.


L.D. Dermody Insurance Brokers (1982) Inc.