Flood insurance in Ontario has been the talk of the town since 2015, when insurance providers introduced overland flood protection for their policy holders. But this also has a lot of homeowners wondering what flood protection covers, and if they really need it.
To answer that question we’re going to look at the example of the 2013 Toronto Flood, the causes of overland flooding, and the costs of getting flood insurance versus the costs of covering flood damages yourself.
The basics of overland flood insurance
Overland flood insurance protects your house from water in the event of an overflowing river, a torrential rainfall, landslides, snow runoff, and other sources of water that don’t originate from inside your home.
The most common cause of overland flooding in Ontario is overflowing rivers and bodies of water, but unpredictable weather has also earned its share of the blame, as was the case with the 2013 flood in Toronto (caused by heavy rains). Even cars were affected.
Why overland flood insurance is necessary in Ontario
One of the best things about Ontario is its waterways—that includes the lakes, rivers, streams, and other bodies that make our province so beautiful in the summer. But these waterways also pose a threat to homeowners in the form of flood risks.
As climate change continues to make weather more unpredictable, it’s estimated that floods from rainfall, snow melt, and other weather phenomena will also become more common. It’s already started to happen, and it’s just a new fact of life in the province.
The major problem for homeowners is that the standard home insurance doesn’t provide coverage for overland flooding, and this means you could find yourself thousands of dollars in debt if you don’t cover yourself now.
It’s also worth noting that 48% of all home insurance claims involve water. That’s what makes flood insurance in Ontario so crucial today.
Home insurance rates vs. damage repairs
The cost of adding overland flood protection to your home insurance policy represents pennies compared to what you would potentially have to spend repairing damages in the case of a flood.
Let’s have a look at the numbers: a 6-inch flood in an average-sized home will do about $40,000 worth of damage.
If you don’t have overland flood insurance, then you’ll be responsible for those damages. By comparison, you can add overland flood insurance to your policy for as little as $10 month.
Overland flood insurance has only been available to homeowners for the last few years, and it’s still not part of standard home insurance policies. But as flooding becomes more common due to unpredictable weather, looking into the benefits of adding flood insurance will likely become a standard practice. It just makes financial sense.
While flood insurance might be especially important if you live in an area that’s prone to flooding, the Toronto flood of 2013 proved that nobody is immune to the whims of nature.
You’ll be in a much better position to manage potential damage from a flood if you add overland flood insurance to your home insurance policy.