What if there’s flooding in your home?
Between the flooding in Alberta and the water damage in the Greater Toronto Area, we’re seeing more claims for water damage than ever before. In fact, it’s surpassed fire claims. What if you experience flooding?
What should you do if there’s flooding in your home?
It can feel overwhelming and stressful if your valuables are damaged. Hopefully this never happens to you and your family, but if it does, we have some tips on what to do.
Most importantly, don’t do anything unless it’s safe to do something. If your basement is flooded and you can’t see the floor and there’s a possibility that the power’s still on, stay out of the basement.
You want to avoid direct contact with electrical lines, human waste or dirty water. This is dangerous and coming into contact with human waste can be harmful to your health – make sure that you wear protective gear in any affected areas.
If it’s safe to get to the power source for the area, make sure that you turn off all electrical power to the affected area. You’ll also want to unplug and remove any electrical appliances.If your home is flooded due to a leak, make sure that you shut off the water source. The last thing you want is more water.
Find some blocks and move all of your furniture onto the raised blocks to prevent further damage and allow the furniture to dry. Make sure it’s secure before you leave it. Remove all the damaged or wet materials. Take an inventory of the materials so that you can report the value of the damaged items.
You want to also ventilate and dry the area. Open any doors and windows that you can. Access some fans and dehumidifiers to help dry the area more quickly. The sooner you dry the affected area, the less chance for mould to start growing.
Finally, contact a qualified contractor who specializes in water damage. You want to make sure that the work done in the affected area is done properly. You don’t want more flooding, and you definitely don’t want mould growing and potentially harming your family’s health.
Don’t wait until it’s too late
Not all water damage is the same. You need to make sure that you know what your insurance does and doesn’t cover. For example, some policies don’t cover sewer back-up – it could be optional coverage that you may not have purchased or the cover may have a limit. It’s important to talk to your broker.
- Talk with your broker about the actual cash value of basement contents. Even if your basement isn’t finished and you’re storing your grandparents’ antiques in the basement, you want to make sure that if they’re damaged you receive the appropriate claim amount.
- Tell your broker if you’ve finished your basement. If you’ve finished your basement and your policy hasn’t changed, you won’t receive replacement value for those things lost or damaged due to flooding.
- It’s worth it for you to tell your broker what flood protection measures you’ve taken. It could help you save money on your premiums and it could help the claim process.
Wait – I can save money on my premiums? You definitely can. Insurance companies do recognize homeowners that take preventative measures. You can receive discounts if you:
- Own a hot water tank that’s less than six years old
- Purchase a tankless water heater
- Have an unfinished basement
- Install an automatic water shut-off valve and sensors
- Have a professional install a sump pump or backwater valve.
To further protect yourself, and save money, look up municipal government subsidy programs
Are there other benefits to preventative measures?
You bet there are. We have six reasons why you should invest in ways to protect your home.
- If water got in your house once and you don’t make any changes, it will get in again.
- When you finish your basement you’re adding more furniture and often expensive electronics which means there’s more to replace.
- Overland flood damage isn’t covered by your policy.
- Flooding can have a long-term impact if any mould starts to grow in your home.
- Homes in older neighbourhoods are more vulnerable. Not only is the infrastructure aging, but the building codes have changed and many of the newer homes have preventative measures built in.
- Severe rain storms are expected to increase in frequency and severity.
Contact Secure Insurance today
The severity of storms isn’t going to improve. We want to help you protect your home and your property, so contact us today to make sure that:
- You understand your coverage
- Your coverage is up-to-date
- You’re getting all the discounts that you should be getting.