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Overland Water Coverage Ontario

Protect yourself from the expense of dealing with water damage caused by overland flooding.
  • Rest easy knowing you're protected against financial setbacks caused by freshwater floods
  • Get coverage for additional living expenses if you are forced to vacate your home during restoration
  • Speak to an experienced broker to ensure you have the right coverage for your unique property
Complete the form or call 1-800-463-8074 to speak with a licensed broker about Overland Water Coverage today.

Ontario Overland Water Coverage

When Canadians think about the risks that could damage or destroy their home, fires and natural disasters typically come to mind. While that is understandable, it's important not to underestimate water's threat to a home. In fact, water is actually the most common cause of property damage and accounts for around half of all home insurance claims costs. Despite that, overland water coverage is one of the least understood insurance coverages. Many Ontarians are unsure what types of water-related damage their home insurance policy covers.

Overland water coverage is an essential component of property insurance coverage, and it's critical to know what is covered to ensure you have the necessary protection against financial loss for the perils you and your property are most likely to encounter.

What is Overland Water Coverage?

Canadian homeowners know that dramatic weather patterns are a part of life that must be considered to protect their property from severe damage. That can include torrential rainfall and rising rivers or lakes that burst their banks, resulting in water seeping or flooding your home. Anyone who has ever dealt with severe water damage before knows how much trouble a little—or a lot—of water can cause in a concise amount of time, and how time-consuming and costly water damage restoration can be.

Suppose you have the overland water endorsement added to your homeowner's insurance policy, and you have an Overland Water loss. In that case, you can get the insurance compensation you need to deal with those costs and resolve the damage as quickly as possible to make your home habitable again and restore it to its former glory. You may also be able to receive compensation for additional living expenses, such as a hotel stay, should you have to vacate the property during restoration.

Which Situations Does Overland Water Coverage Apply To?

Overland water coverage is a specific type of water damage insurance coverage that applies to freshwater flooding, mainly when damage is caused by a sudden accumulation of water entering a building. This could be related to a body of water such as a river or lake that floods low-lying areas near its banks, or it could be surface water from heavy rainfall, melting ice or snow, or spring run-off that is voluminous enough to travel across the surface of the ground rather than immediately soaking into it. The water could enter your home under doors, through vents or by seeping into cracks and gaps in the exterior shell of your house or foundation.

What Is Not Included In Overland Water Coverage?

One of the most important things to understand about overland water coverage is that it applies to damage from freshwater sources only, such as lakes, rivers, heavy rain, and snow melt. It does not apply to coastal flooding damage caused by saltwater. While this isn't a concern for most Ontarians, it's worth knowing if you live near Hudson Bay.

There are three types of water damage insurance: basic coverage, sewer backup, and overland water. Since they all cover different kinds of events, it stands to reason that the circumstances covered by basic or sewer backup coverage are not covered by overland water coverage. Ontario homeowners should have all three types of water damage coverage to ensure they have the necessary financial protection against the high water damage restoration costs.

Overland water coverage does not apply to damage caused by unexpected events that originate on a property, such as a burst water pipe, overflowing appliance, damaged hot water tank, leaking roof, damaged swimming pool or hot tub, or even a broken waterbed. Those incidents could fall under basic water coverage that is typically part of a standard home insurance policy. Overland water coverage also does not apply to the water damage caused by sewer backups and damaged or deteriorated wastewater disposal lines—as the name suggests, those fall under sewer backup insurance.

When it comes to overland water coverage, Ontario policyholders should be aware that some other events or incidents are not covered as well, including damage caused by rain or snow coming in through an open window, leaks or seepage that occurs slowly over a long period. There may also be specific exclusions written into your policy. If you need clarification on what's excluded from your unique policy, the best course of action is to contact your insurance broker at Morison Insurance for more information.

Can I Get Overland Water Coverage If My Property Is Located In a Flood Zone?

This is an excellent question because the answer sometimes surprises homeowners looking to add an endorsement for overland water coverage. Ontario insurance companies will typically refuse to provide overland water coverage for properties in high-risk flood zones. Why? Because they're high-risk, insurance companies aren't willing or able to take on that level of risk transfer.

The location of your property determines your eligibility for water damage insurance coverage concerning factors such as its proximity to lakes and rivers, as well as whether it's in a position to be exposed to additional risk. For example, suppose your property is on the side of a hill or mountain or right at the bottom, and the hill or mountain is often subjected to heavy spring run-off. In that case, the property is at a higher risk for overland water damage and, subsequently, overland water claims.

That doesn't necessarily mean there's no way for higher-risk properties to get overland water coverage. Ontario insurance brokers at Morison Insurance can find overland water coverage for you regardless of your risk exposure level, as it depends on the individual insurance companies. Our brokers work for our clients, not for the insurance companies, so we're committed to tracking down the right insurance that will suit your needs best, whatever they may be.

Do I Need Overland Water Coverage If I Live On a High-Rise Or a Hill?

There's a common misconception that people who live in high-rise buildings or are up on a hill well away from the risk of river or lake flooding don't need overland water coverage. Ontario homeowners should know they're not protected from overland flooding in those situations.

If you live in a high-rise—or even just a couple of stories above ground level— it's unlikely that your unit will be directly affected by overland water. That doesn't mean you're safe from its effects. It is possible that water from heavy rainfall or snowfall could accumulate on your balcony and seep into your house. Still, the more probable scenario is that the ground floor and basement of your building are damaged, which could mean that the building as a whole is not habitable until water damage restoration has occurred. In that situation, having an overland water coverage endorsement on your condo insurance policy would prompt your insurance provider to offer you insurance compensation for additional living expenses, such as the cost of a hotel or other temporary living arrangement, until you can live in your unit again.

If you live up on a hill, elevated well above any possible flood waters from a lake or river that has burst its banks, you're still at risk of damage that requires overland water coverage. Being on a hill doesn't offer you any protection from heavy rainfall or excessive snow and ice melt—and it may increase your risk of damage from spring run-off, depending on your property's position on the hill or mountain in question.

Are Preventative Measures Mandatory To Get Overland Water Coverage in Ontario?

Specific preventative measures can go a long way toward helping you avoid costly water damage, such as sump pumps, backwater valves, barriers for basement windows and even eavestroughs that are clear of debris and in good condition. Insurance companies don't obligate you to have those measures in place before offering insurance options, such as overland water coverage. Still, you may get more coverage or higher limits if you have some preventative measures installed. Some insurance companies may also offer a discount, depending on the policy and the specific measures.

Although you're not required to have preventative measures in place, it makes plenty of sense to do so. Even with the reassurance of overland water coverage to give you financial support to deal with the consequences of water damage, no one wants the hassle, stress and time-consuming expense of water damage restoration hanging over their head. Preventative measures are simple, effective and generally not costly to have installed, especially compared to the expense of dealing with a seriously damaged house and destroyed belongings that may be irreplaceable.

Who Can I Call To Make Sure I Have Adequate Ontario Overland Water Coverage?

If you're not sure whether you have adequate insurance in place for overland water coverage, or you know you don't and want to rectify that situation, the best course of action is to call 1-800-463-8074 and speak with a knowledgeable, licensed broker at Morison Insurance. Our team has plenty of experience with water damage insurance, and we know how to get to the bottom of what types of coverage you really need and are eligible for.

This content is written by our Morison Insurance team. It is provided for general information only. Insurance needs differ from person to person, and this article is therefore not a substitute for professional advice about your individual insurance needs which can be obtained by speaking to one of our brokers.

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