May 4, 2023

Understanding Flood Coverage – Is your business protected?

Floods—the costliest natural disaster in terms of property damage—can be caused by commonplace occurrences such as melting snow and ice, high lake or river levels, heavy rains, and thunderstorms. Last year, 25 communities across the province were forced to declare a state of emergency due to flooding causing a significant risk to homes, businesses, and infrastructure, according to the Government of Ontario. Despite the frequency and threat to hundreds of municipalities, many Ontario business owners lack the coverage necessary to weather a sudden natural disaster financially.

While you can do everything possible to reduce your business’ risk of flood damage, sometimes the amount of maintenance you do yourself is just not enough to keep up when water begins to rise at a catastrophic rate.

So, what is Flood Coverage?

Well, the term “flood coverage” is a bit inaccurate, because the actual coverage pertains to many different scenarios. So, as we like to do in the insurance world, we’ve made a different term for it that best describes the coverage you get. This has come to be known as Overland Water Coverage.

What is Overland Water Coverage?

Overland Water Coverage is an add-on to your standard commercial liability insurance policy and acts in conjunction with sewer backup coverage.

Generally speaking, it is designed to protect your business facility from damage caused by excessive rain, overflowing rivers, spring run-off, and melting snow.

Sewer Backup Coverage

Sewer backup coverage is generally set up to protect you from loss or damage to your property and equipment when caused by the rupture or escape of water from a sewer, drain, sump pump, or septic system.

The thing is, while many of Ontario’s insurance companies have created coverage to protect you at the time of a flood, many use different terminology to define their product and also use different names to differentiate their products. The names can vary between Overland Water Coverage, Sewer Backup and Surface Water Coverage to name a few. They can also be a packaged product or sold separately.

With so many insurance companies presenting their coverage differently, it can be confusing and time-consuming to compare different insurance products. That’s why our Brokers are licensed professionals whose mission is to find you the best product for your unique situation.

When you express interest in protecting your business in the event of a flood, your Broker will have vast knowledge on what products are available, all while explaining the difference in products in language (er, not insurance terms) you understand to ensure you have adequate coverage.