What to do in case of flood damage?

The river overflows its banks and floods your home, causing damage to your finished basement or to the ground floor. Sadly, it’s a reality that affects many homes each year. 

First, find out from your insurer if you have flood insurance and how much coverage you have. A number of insurers have been offering this product since 2017. 

Private insurance and government assistance – who covers what?

You don’t have flood insurance

If you don’t have flood insurance, ask your insurer to confirm this for you in writing. This document is needed to make your claim with the ministère de la Sécurité publique (Public Safety Department) (MSP). The government assistance program covers essential items that meet specific criteria.

Find out more about the MSP Program, visit the Ministère's website:
https://www.securitepublique.gouv.qc.ca/en/civil-protection/financial-disaster-victims/special-financial-assistance-program-flooding-2017.html

You have flood insurance

You can file a claim directly with your insurer. We also suggest you file a government assistance claim. Property not covered under the assistance program may be reimbursed by your insurer (up to the coverage amount you selected).  

For example: The government assistance program covers only one refrigerator per residence. If you have a second refrigerator, it could be covered by your insurer. 

What happens if you’re ordered to evacuate?

You don’t have flood insurance

We suggest you contact your insurer as, in some cases, you could be reimbursed for living expenses you incur during a 14-day period. 

You have flood insurance

You’ll be reimbursed for additional living expenses for 14 days.   

If your home needs work and you need to be temporarily relocated, you’ll be entitled to other living expenses, depending on your policy limits.  

Some advice:

Whether or not you’re covered by your insurer for flood damage, consider taking certain precautions to prevent further damage to your home. 

  • Move valuable items to upper floors; if possible, contain water seepage and dry damaged areas. 
  • Keep receipts for all expenses you incur for accommodation, meals or to safeguard your home. 

Was your car damaged by flood water?  

You have All perils, All perils other than collision or upset, or Specific perils coverage, which are widely held by drivers. 

In that case, damage caused to vehicles is covered. Call your insurer to check what coverage you have and open a claims file. 

Note that a vehicle that has been immersed in water is no longer safe. It must not be started.  In many cases, a flood-damaged vehicle will be deemed “unrebuildable”. This means that it can never be put back on the road and only some of the parts can be reused. The auto insurer establishes whether the vehicle is “rebuidable”, based on criteria established by the SAAQ.

Find out more by visiting the SAAQ's website:
https://saaq.gouv.qc.ca/en/road-safety/flood-damaged-road-vehicles/

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