Does insurance cover water infiltration?

Habitation Does insurance cover water infiltration?

Water always finds a path eventually. And when that path is through the roof and walls of your home, there could be major damage. Here’s what you need to know about this common loss occurrence and how to protect yourself from it, in particular by adding an endorsement to your home insurance.

Causes of water infiltration

Even with a good roof, exterior cladding in good condition and watertight doors and windows, extreme weather events can lead to rainwater finding its way into the building. Winter and spring are also high-risk seasons due to heavy snow, ice, freezing and thawing.

Even short-term water infiltration can cause considerable damage, such as short-circuiting appliances and electronics or warping furniture and floors. Surfaces should be cleaned and dried to prevent moisture from causing mould. 

Water damage: the most common loss occurrence

Given the increasing age of buildings and the growing intensity of weather events, water damage has been the most common form of residential loss in Quebec for several years. On average, claims amount to over $12,000 and can easily exceed that figure when renovations are involved.

A smart addition to your home insurance

Some losses are not automatically covered by home insurance and require additional coverage. 

With an Above Ground Water endorsement, you can protect your property from sudden and accidental rain damage caused by leaking, overflowing or backed up gutters, downspouts and rainwater leaders. The coverage also applies to water damage caused by rain and melting snow, and ice seeping through the roof, walls or doors and windows.

Note that to obtain coverage for water infiltration through the foundation or through basement doors and windows, a Ground Water and Sewers endorsement is required.

 

How to respond to the situation

  • Contain the water. Use waterproof containers to collect the water and limit damage.
  • Protect your property. Move your furniture, appliances and personal items to a dry place. Contact your insurer for advice.
  • Clean and dry waterlogged materials to prevent warping and mould formation.
  • Keep your receipts for any expenses related to the incident.
  • Document the damage with photos or video.
  • If you live in a condo, notify your syndicate. Some losses may also involve the syndicate’s insurance policy.

 

Other topics that may interest you:

home insurance

prevention

water damage

endorsements

condo insurance

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