Are you insured for natural disasters?

December 22, 2014

Many Canadians don't really know whether or not they're covered in the case of natural disasters. Are you sure you are? Here are some things you should know.

Are you insured for natural disasters?

Not all policies are the same

Different insurers offer different levels of protection for home owners. Policies can even vary greatly even within the same insurance company. Also, with so many possible scenarios, it can be tricky to know exactly what you’re covered for. The good news is that most insurance companies offer coverage for natural disasters, or what was previously known as “acts of God”, such as damage caused by wind, hail, snow, lightning and the like. This coverage extends to your yard and yard furniture as well, so if a huge storm hits and your home is fine but your deck chairs are destroyed, you could probably claim them. But this isn't always the case. Before assuming you're covered, read the fine print to see exactly which natural disasters (if any) you're covered for. You may be surprised to see the truth.

Ask an expert

Talking to your insurance agent or broker will help you understand the ins and outs of your policy. Be clear about your concerns and ask about specific scenarios. The chances are good they’ll take the time to really help you understand the level of coverage you have, and suggest other coverage options should you wish to increase your insurance.

Existing issues

Insurance companies will most likely not reimburse you for damage that happens to a part of your home with an existing problem. For instance, if your roof had known issues and then caved in during a storm, you might not be covered. This is an issue to phone your broker about. Discuss your coverage and how to fix your roof!

Floods are an exception

Almost no insurer will cover your home for flooding. Most flood areas are well-known and documented by the city and the insurance company, so flooding is generally considered to be the by-product of an existing problem. The exception to this is flooding related to the water mains or sewer mains governed by the city, which in some cases are covered by policies. You’ll need to talk to your broker to see if your policy covers such damage, or if you need to upgrade.

Review before you renew

It’s important to take time each year to review your insurance policies to see what level of coverage you have, and to make sure your insurers know of any changes or upgrades you’ve done to your home. As climate change becomes more of a factor in our lives, making sure you’re insured against natural disasters to the fullest extent possible will give you peace of mind and protect your investment.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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