Water damage insurance
Over and above standard coverage, we have 4 optional coverages that you can add to your insurance to protect against water damage.
See how much coverage you need in the event of basement water damage
Water damage often occurs in basements due to flooding or sewer backups. Water can also seep in through basement windows or foundations after heavy rainfall or snowmelt.
Make a list of your belongings
Before deciding how much coverage you need, you should make a list of the belongings in your basement and add up their value. Do you have a home theatre, electronic devices, furniture or expensive pieces of equipment? Take pictures of them and keep your receipts.
Consider potential building damage
If you own your home, certain water damage coverages include building damage. Some questions to consider:
- If your walls or floors were damaged by water, how much would basement restoration cost? Make sure to factor in drying, cleaning, sanitizing and renovation costs.
- How much would it cost to restore your property's outdoor space (excavation, paving, patio, landscaping)?
Are you a tenant?
Water damage insurance protects your belongings. If you live on the ground floor or basement level, or have a locker, you might want to consider adding optional water damage coverage to your policy.
Contact us about our coverage options. We're here to help you choose the right coverage for your needs.
Accidental water damage in your home
Certain accidental water damage is covered in your basic policy. This insurance covers sudden and accidental water damage that doesn't happen repeatedly, such as leaks from:
- Washing machines
- Water heaters
- The hose to your washing machine or dishwasher breaks.
- Your bathtub overflows.
- Your water heater springs a leak. Note that if your water heater is too old, it may be excluded from your policy.
Your basic policy also covers damage to your belongings caused by a broken water main on your property.
Here are some tips to help prevent water damage in your home.
- Close the shutoff or stop valves after every wash.
- Check the hoses at least once a year and replace them as soon as you see any wear and tear, ideally with reinforced stainless steel braided hoses.
- Regularly inspect water supply and drainage hoses. They can wear down over time and leak.
- Clean your dishwasher door's rubber gasket on a regular basis to remove any grime that might cause it to leak because it no longer seals properly.
- Replace your water heater every 12 years or as soon as you notice signs of deterioration, such as rust or seepage.
- Install a water leak sensor that can automatically shut off the water supply if it detects leaks.
- Replace your plumbing if the pipes are made of galvanized steel or your house was built before 1950.
- Watch out for strange noises when you turn off faucets.
- Planning to be away over the winter? Drain your pipes so they won't freeze and burst if your heat goes out.
Damage caused by ground water or sewer backup
Ground water and sewer backup (Endorsement 16c) is an optional coverage you can add to your insurance policy under certain conditions.
It offers protection against sudden and accidental damage caused by:
- Leaks, overflows or backups from sewers or septic tanks
- Water seeping in through the foundations, including basement windows
- Heavy rain causes municipal sewers to overflow, allowing water to back up into your toilet, shower or basement floor drain
- Tree roots block up your subsoil drainage pipe and cause water to seep through the foundation
- Water seeps in through the basement windows or foundation
Here are some tips to help prevent water damage in your basement.
- Repair cracks in your foundation.
- Be sure that the ground slopes away from your home's foundation so water can't accumulate.
- Seal basement windows to prevent leaks and check if they're at least 20 cm above the ground level outside. If not, add window wells to prevent water from seeping in.
- Make sure your basement sewer line has working backwater valves. They can help prevent backup of municipal sewage.
- Check that the subsoil drainage pipe is working properly to drain excess groundwater from around the foundation.
Damage caused by flooding from an overflowing body of water
Flood (Endorsement 16d) is an optional coverage you can add to your insurance policy under certain conditions.
If water reaches the surface of the ground of the premises, this insurance covers sudden and accidental damage caused by:
- The rising or overflow of a body or stream of water
- Dam breaks
- A river overflows onto your property and causes damage to your home or belongings.
- You're a tenant, and an overflowing body of water damages belongings in your locker.
- You're forced to leave your home due to flooding and stay at a hotel. Additional living expenses, like hotel costs, are covered.
Damage caused by above ground water
Above Ground Water and Weight of Ice, Snow or Sleet (Endorsement 42) is an optional coverage you can add to your insurance policy under certain conditions.
It offers protection against sudden and accidental damage caused by:
- Water leaks, overflows or backups from gutters or downspouts
- Rain or snow seeping in through the roof, walls, doors or windows
- The weight of snow, ice or wet snow
- Snow or ice builds up on your roof and causes water to seep in through the ceiling
- A window breaks during a storm, and the water damages your floor and belongings
- Clogged gutters cause water to overflow and damage your home or belongings
Here are some tips to help prevent water damage caused by rain, snow or sleet.
- Keep an eye out for early signs of ceiling water damage like stains or blistering.
- Direct water from the gutters away from your house with a downspout extension.
- Clean out your gutters in the spring and fall. For your safety, consider hiring a professional.
- Clear snow and ice off the roof, especially if over 2 feet (70 cm) of snow or 2 inches (5 cm) of ice accumulates. For your safety, consider hiring a roof snow removal professional.
- To prevent ice dams from building up on the edge of your roof, your attic needs to be well ventilated and properly insulated. This helps reduce heat transfer to your roof.
- Check for signs of structural damage like cracks on indoor walls, doors that start to stick or don't close properly and warped ceilings.
- Inspect the seals around doors and windows for signs of wear. Reapply caulking as needed.
Damage caused by water service pipe breakage
Water service pipe breakage (Endorsement 51) is an optional coverage you can add to your insurance policy under certain conditions.
It covers the cost of tearing out and restoring the premises to allow repairs to the private water service pipe connecting your house to the city water main to prevent any damage to your belongings.
Note that we do not cover the water service pipe repair or replacement cost.
Your water supply line is broken, causing low water pressure in your house. Subject to the maximum amount specified in your policy, we cover the cost of:
- Tearing up and restoring your yard to allow repairs to the water service pipe
- Trees, plants and lawns
Need to file a water damage claim?
Learn how the claims process works and what information to provide.
Install prevention systems to save on your home insurance
You may be eligible for savings or discounts on your home insurance or certain insurance coverage options when you have these water damage prevention systems put in:
- A leak detection system with an automatic water shutoff valve
- Leak detectors connected to a central monitoring system
- A pneumatic backflow system
Prevent water damage with Alert
AlertTM is a prevention program featuring a wireless home security system by Roost®. It notifies you on your smartphone if a water leak, freezing temperatures, smoke, a break-in or a power outage are detected in your home. You could also save up to 10% on your home insurance if you subscribe to Roost's professional monitoring service.
Choose your home insurance coverage
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Damage insurance products are underwritten and distributed by Desjardins General Insurance Inc., provider of automobile, property and business insurance.
The information on this page is provided for informational purposes only. The terms and conditions of the coverages described are set out in the insurance policy, which always prevails. Some conditions, exclusions and limitations may apply.
Savings and discounts are based on each client's individual profile and are subject to eligibility conditions. Rates and discounts are subject to change without notice.
The Roost word mark and logo are trademarks of Roost, Inc., and have been registered in the United States and in certain other jurisdictions.
AlertTM is a trademark of Desjardins General Insurance Group Inc., used under licence.