9 questions about flood insurance

Flooding hits several Quebec regions and raises a number of questions about available insurance coverage for flood victims.

1. Is flood covered?

A number of insurers now offer overland water coverage. Since this is a relatively new product and not offered to all policyholders, flood victims should talk to their insurers as soon as possible to find out whether they have this coverage.

2. I have flood insurance but I think the insurance amount will not cover all the losses incurred. Can I make a request for compensation to the ministère de la Sécurité publique (Public Safety Department)?

Yes, absolutely. We suggest you open a file with your private insurer and with the ministère de la Sécurité publique. Using this option, your private insurer will complete the government compensation request. Property not covered under the government assistance program could be reimbursed by your insurer (up to your coverage amount).

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

3. My home insurance does not cover flood damage. Will the government assistance program compensate me?

The ministère de la Sécurité publique's assistance program for people affected by floods remains in effect. For more details on the criteria for applying for this program, please visit the ministère de la Sécurité publique's website.

4. What happens when an evacuation order is given?

Individuals who have flood insurance:

  • They will receive additional living expenses from their insurer for 14 days.
  • If their home needs work and they need to be temporarily relocated, policyholders will be entitled to other living expenses, depending on their insurance policy limits.

Individuals who don’t have flood insurance:

  • They must contact their insurer, as in some cases, they could receive additional living expenses for 14 days.

5. Does the state of emergency allow policyholders to receive additional living expenses?

No, a state of emergency is not a trigger for granting living expenses.

A state of emergency and an evacuation order are two quite separate things.

6. What happens if a policyholder has a sewer back up because of flooding?

If the Sewer Back Up endorsement was added to the policy, the insurer will evaluate the situation. If the flood water reached the policyholder’s property and the flood caused the sewer back-up, this will be considered a flood. The policyholder will not be compensated, unless he has flood insurance.

7. Are flooded vehicles covered?

Damage caused to vehicles is covered under the auto insurance policy, provided policyholders have opted for “all perils”, “all perils other than collision or upset” or “specific perils” coverage.

8. My car was immersed in water. What do I need to do?

A vehicle that has been immersed in water is no longer safe and must not be started. In a large number of 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 used. Using the criteria established by the SAAQ, the automobile insurer establishes whether the vehicle is “unrebuidable”. To find out more, go to https://saaq.gouv.qc.ca/en/road-safety/flood-damaged-road-vehicles/.

9. Are businesses covered in case of flood?

The flood endorsement for business insurance has been available for several years and, more specifically, covers loss of earnings. Business owners should call their insurer or broker to check what their insurance policy covers.

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