Natural disasters (floods, forest fires, etc.) have become more and more frequent and costly across Canada. For example, spring flooding is now common and extreme weather events are happening more often. Do you know what you’re covered for under your home insurance for these kinds of situations?
Damage caused by flooding due to overflow from a body of water is not covered under your basic home insurance contract. Some insurers suggest you cover this risk by taking out an endorsement (an addition to your insurance contract).
However, if you live in a flood-prone area, this extra coverage will not be available to you.
Many people turn to the government for emergency financial assistance when flooding occurs, but this type of humanitarian assistance is not guaranteed and often very limited. You would be best to check with your insurer before such an event happens to see if you can get coverage for damage caused by overflow from a body of water. It is always advisable to take some basic precautions:
- Keep a personal emergency fund to help you deal with the unexpected costs that result from a disaster.
- If you are flooded, take steps to limit any possible damage.
Is your home located in a flood-risk zone?
Québec’s ministry responsible for the environment and the fight against climate change has prepared an informational interactive map This link will open in a new window you can use to find out if you are in a flood-risk zone. You should also check with your municipality or regional county municipality (MRC).End of the insight
The risk of a major earthquake risk in the Québec City-Montréal-Ottawa corridor, home to more than 75% of Québec’s population, is particularly misunderstood and underestimated. According to Natural Resources Canada, it is the second most earthquake-prone area of the country.
This risk is not covered under your basic insurance contract. Most insurers offer additional coverage in the form of an endorsement (an addition to your insurance contract). Check what is covered under the endorsement and the coverage amounts, exclusions and deductibles to make sure you stay within your budget and risk tolerance.
Insurance contracts usually cover damage from fire, explosion or smoke after an earthquake.
Governments may provide emergency financial assistance in the event of a major earthquake, but this type of assistance is not guaranteed and would likely be very limited.
Windstorms, hail and lightening
Most basic insurance contracts cover you for damage caused by windstorms, hail and lightening. Pay close attention to the limitations and exclusions in your contract regarding damage to trees and outdoor growing plants, and also to your deductible.
Forest fires can cause substantial damage to homes that are located near fire zones. All home insurance policies provide fire coverage.
You may also be entitled to compensation if you have to find temporary accommodation because your home was damaged or the public authorities issued an evacuation order.