Many insurance policies don’t cover flooding
TORONTO — The majority of Canadian homeowners aren’t insured for flooding and could be left footing at least part of the bill after heavy rains in several areas across the country, experts say.
Craig Stewart, vice-president of federal affairs for the Insurance Bureau of Canada, estimates that only 10 to 15 per cent of Canadians have so-called “overland flood insurance,” which is offered as an add-on to insurance policies.
Stewart says that’s because it’s a fairly new product that wasn’t available prior to 2013, when severe flooding hit Toronto and Alberta.
“That was primarily because we did not have flood risk maps developed for the whole country,” Stewart says.
“The insurance industry needs to be able to quantify the risks so they can assess which premiums to charge which people. Up until then there was simply no risk mapping done to be able to support such policies.” Heavy rains left several communities in Quebec and Ontario struggling with rising floodwaters over the weekend, while parts of New Brunswick and British Columbia also faced flooding.