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Living in a rainy city doesn’t mean you have to be a victim of water damage

June 10, 2020

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Water belongs in a swimming pool or the ocean, not your basement.

With Vancouver – or ‘Raincouver’ as some jokingly refer to it – being one of the wettest cities in North America, it only makes sense your Lower Mainland home can be at increased risk for water damage, with more claims being caused by water damage today than any other source.

The Canadian Institute of Actuaries found in 2014 that water damage made up 48% of Canadian home insurance claims, which is more than theft (18%) and fire (4%) combined.

At iCare, we want to make sure you understand what’s covered in your home insurance policy in case of water damage, as well as what you can do to prevent it.

Knowing whether or not you are covered

There are many different ways water damage can occur, and depending on your policy, the damage may or may not be covered.

Typically, basic coverage includes accidental damage, such as a burst pipe or overflowing bathtub. However, your particular needs may be different and maybe you need additional coverage, based on things like the sewage system or if you have a swimming pool or hot tub.

Ways you can prevent water damage

Almost as important as ensuring you have the right protection in place, is doing what you can to prevent water damage to your home. According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, the average cost of repair for a flooded basement in 2019 was $43,000.

We’ve compiled a list of tips and tricks for preventing water damage in the first place and avoiding the need to make a claim:

  1. Check your downspouts and gutters – This solution is simple but effective. Ensuring that drain spouts are further from the home lowers the risk of water seepage. Additionally, regularly cleaning debris out of gutters decreases the likelihood of water overflow.
  2. Sealing cracks – Ensuring that there are no easy points of entry for water, such as doorways and windows, will decrease the possibility of water damage.
  3. Regular inspections from plumbers – If your property is at risk of flooding, a plumber will be able to inspect your piping and do specialized testing to help you better understand your plumbing needs.
  4. Consider your landscape – This may seem obvious, but water should be flowing away from your home. If your property is sloped towards your home, you may need to consider correcting the grading or installing a rain garden.
  5. Know what’s your responsibility versus your strata’s responsibility – It’s important to review your condo strata documentation to ensure you have a good understanding of what you are responsible for.

If you have any questions about your home insurance policy or your specific property, call one of our iCare home insurance specialists today at (604) 628-5177.

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