Water damage is the leading cause of home insurance payouts in Canada, comprising more than 50 percent of all losses covered, reports The Globe and Mail, citing vice-president of TD Insurance Henry Blumenthal. Water damage claims have doubled over the past 10 years, primarily due to more frequent storms and the fact that more people are equipping their basements with expensive items, explains Blumenthal.
If your basement has been flooded, there are a few things to consider before filing a claim with your insurance company.
Our personal injury lawyers can meet with you for a free initial consultation. Call (416) 364-2000
Does your policy cover flooding?
The first thing you’ll need to do is ensure that the kind of damage your basement has is actually covered by your policy. If your flooding is the result of the spring thaw, for instance, chances are that the damage will not be covered.
In most cases, your homeowner’s policy will cover basement flooding damage if it’s the result of a sudden and unforeseeable occurrence, such as a pipe bursting or a washing machine overflowing.
Some policies may or may not cover situations such as a leaky foundation or sump pump failure. And if a sewer backup is the cause of your damage, you may be covered only if you purchased that extra protection. Given the complexities of homeowners insurance, check with you insurer to see what is and isn’t covered on your policy.
Is the damage worth claiming?
Many people have a homeowner’s insurance policy with a very high deductible, sometimes in the $2,500 to $5,000 range. If the damage is relatively slight in comparison with your deductible, it may not be worth it file a claim. And unfortunately, you might not know the extent of the damage until the water has dried up a bit.
Keep in mind that if the damage doesn’t quite justify a claim you make or if you file a claim for damage that your policy doesn’t cover, even though the claim might not go through, your report still may wind up on your account record. This could compromise your situation down the road if you ever try to obtain additional coverage or change your policy. So it’s important to be in the know before you file your claim.
Do you need an attorney to help with your case?
If your claim is relatively minor and straightforward, you may not require an attorney.
If, however, you are unsure of what is and isn’t covered or you think your insurer may be trying to shortchange you, an insurance claim attorney can be helpful. A lawyer can help you:
- understand the fine print of your policy;
- navigate the claims process;
- negotiate with the insurance company;
- ensure your rights are upheld throughout the claims process; and
- pursue litigation if necessary.
Complete a Free Case Evaluation form now
Get a FREE Consultation with an Attorney in Ontario
If your basement flooded and you’re having difficulty recovering compensation from your insurance company, contact Preszler Law in Ontario. We will review your policy and explain your rights and any open avenues of recourse.
To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation, call 1-800-JUSTICE® or contact us online.