April Showers Bring May Flowers, Spring Melt and Water Damage. Are you covered?

Spring melt and excess rainfall are among the most common risks for Water Damage, Flooding and even Sewer Backup.

Normally when we think of spring, we think of sunny days, bright colored flowers and green lawns. “April showers bring May flowers”….right? That may be true but flowers aren’t the only thing followed by the rain.

If your region has had heaps of snow late in the season it could result in a very fast melt, or if you are in a region that has had buckets of rain, it may have you pondering where all that water is going.

Did you know that most insurance policies do not include Water Damage Coverage. This is an optional endorsement with an additional premium that is added by your broker with your consent. Water Damage coverage is broken down into 4 different risks. Some insurance companies offer the endorsement as a package including some or all of these water risks, as where other companies sell them separately. You may need to discuss this with your broker to find out if you are covered.

Flood – The rising of, breaking out or overflow of any body of water, or watercourse, whether it’s natural or man-made.

Surface Water – Water on the surface of the ground where it doesn’t usually accumulate under ordinary circumstances.

Ground Water – Water in the soil beneath the surface of the ground. Coverage will be provided only when it’s sudden and accidental, and related to a flood of surface water event.

Sewer Backup – Water or sewage backs up, escapes or overflows from the sewer, sump or septic tank.

 There are many ways to prevent a disaster from spring melt and water damage:

  • Remove remaining snow off of roofs.
  • Remove debris that could slow the flow of water.
  • Check eaves troughs and gutters for signs of ice dams.
  • Shovel snow away from the foundation of your home.
  • Check the grading in the yard to see that it is sloping away from the foundation, allowing melt water to lead away from your home.
  • Extend downspouts away from the home by at least two meters.
  • Check backwater prevention valves on the main line of your sewer, if your home has one – is it in working condition?
  • Check sump pumps and pit to make sure everything is in good condition and ready for melt water.
  • Check basements regularly for signs of water.

If a water loss has occurred, first make sure you and your family are safe. Once you’re ready, contact your insurance broker to report your claim. An adjuster will be assigned to you as soon as possible to assess the damage. Professional cleaning expenses are considered part of the insurance claim so do not feel like you need to do all of it on your own.

  • Take reasonable steps you can to minimize the extent of the damage. Seek professional advice on how to clean up.
  • Don’t throw anything out. Store damaged items in a reasonably safe place so the adjuster can see them.
  • Have any appliances (including furnaces) that have come in contact with water checked by a qualified electrician, dealer or service person before you use them.
  • Do not touch any electrical systems or panels until you know it is safe to do so, especially in wet or damp conditions.
  • Move damaged belongings to a dry area with good ventilation.
  • Take pictures or record a video of damaged property to give to the adjuster.