You can add additional coverage, or endorsements, for certain risks that are not automatically included under your policy. The most popular are those for sewer backup, water seepage and for swimming pools and spas.

Water damage – Ground Water and Sewers Coverage Endorsement

This coverage covers damage caused by ground water, including: 

  • Sudden and accidental seepage of underground or surface water 
  • Sudden and accidental discharge, backing up or overflow from sewer connections 
  • Rising of the water table

Are endorsements useful for condos?

It is very likely that your declaration of co-ownership requires you to have specific coverage (i.e., a pre-determined liability amount, endorsement for sewer back-up, etc.).

Make sure you read your declaration of co-ownership to find out what obligations you and the condo corporation have when it comes to insurance.

Water Damage – Above Ground Water Coverage Endorsement

This coverage covers damage caused by above ground water, including: 

  • Sudden and accidental leaking of rain or snow 
  • Sudden and accidental discharge, backing up or overflow of rain gutters, eaves troughs or downspouts

Do you own a spa or a swimming pool?

To adequately insure them, you’ll need to add additional coverage to your policy. 

Swimming Pool and Spa endorsement covers: 

  • Your spa and swimming pool situated outside of your home 
  • The equipment for its maintenance and for ensuring water quality 
  • The deck or platform to which it is affixed and which is not attached to your home

Earthquakes

Current home insurance policies generally include coverage for risks that may affect all policyholders, including fire, water main break or violent winds, and this regardless where they live. So what about earthquakes?

Coverage sold under an endorsement

Earthquake coverage is sold under an endorsement. The coverage is added to the home insurance policy. This is often the case when a small number of insured are exposed to a specific risk, which is the case for earthquakes in Quebec. 

If you live in a region at risk or if you want to protect yourself against this type of loss, you can purchase an endorsement to cover earthquakes. Check with your broker or insurer. 

Types of damage resulting from this loss

Like other disasters, earthquakes can cause two kinds of damage: 

  • Damage resulting from the earthquake itself.
  • Damage from fire, explosion or smoke after the earthquake.

According to an Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) analysis, a number of insured already have coverage for damage caused by fire following an earthquake. For some, this coverage is included in their home insurance policy, for others, it is added to insurance policy through an endorsement. 

The IBC analysis also showed that very few individuals are insured for loss resulting from an earthquake. Some mistakenly believe that the risk is covered under their home insurance policy. However, it isn’t. 

Every individual must assess his or her risk tolerance threshold or financial capacity to assume the consequences if such an event were to occur.

Why is the deductible higher?

Unlike other types of disaster, earthquakes are likely to cause major damage, which is why coverage is generally more expensive. 

To be able to offer adequate coverage at a reasonable and accessible price, insurers must charge a higher deductible. This is the amount the policyholder would have to pay if there were an earthquake. The deductible generally corresponds to a percentage of the amount of insurance purchased. For example, if your deductible were 5% of your insurance amount, and that amount is $200,000, your deductible would be $10,000.

Necessary as a co-owner-occupier?

For co-owner-occupiers, damages caused by sewer back-ups or water infiltrations can no doubt affect your property or your unit’s enhancements. It would be wise to add these additional protections to your home insurance policy.

In addition, additional coverage could be beneficial if the amounts in the condominium corporation’ insurance for the building are insufficient. As a result of damage to the common areas, if the amount of insurance taken out by the condominium’s corporation is not sufficient to pay for the repairs, all the co-owners must then contribute to pay for the repairs. If the damages are not to a common area, the co-owner must pay for the work.

 

Home prevention

Prevent water damages from outside

Water damage is the leading cause of home insurance claims in Quebec. See what are considered good practices around the house.

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