8 questions to better understand flood insurance

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

Questions and answers

1. Is flood covered?

Until recently, flood was excluded from all home insurance policies. As of March 2017, some Quebec insurers started to offer overland water coverage. Since this is a new product, not all policyholders have coverage and flood victims should talk to their insurers as soon as possible.

2. 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.

3. What happens when an evacuation order is given?

Individuals who have flood insurance:

  • They will receive additional living expenses 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

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/.

6. 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 Ministry)?

We suggest you open a file with your private insurer and with the ministère de la Sécurité publique (Public Safety Ministry).

7. 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.

8. Are acts of God covered?

Most of the risks commonly called “Acts of God” can be covered, either under a basic home policy or additional coverage (an endorsement). Thus, torrential rains, violent winds, hail, ice storms and even earthquakes are insurable. Flood is beginning to be covered in Quebec.

Because of the diversity of the damage incurred, IBC is advising flood victims to contact their insurer or broker, as soon as possible, to check the extent of their insurance coverage and to open their claims file as quickly as possible.

Flood victims should also take measures to prevent any further damage to their home.

Finally, fllod victims should keep receipts for all expenses incurred, whether for accommodation or meals, or for their home.


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