Did you know that for several years, the number 1 type of claims for home insurance in Canada is water damage?
According to a study from the Canadian Institute of Actuaries, water damage represents 48% of the claims, whereas 18% are theft and 4% fire.
Between flood, sewer back-up, pipe breakage, and tenant’s negligence, it is not always easy to understand what is covered by insurance and what’s not. Let’s look together at your APRIL coverage. 

1. Wind or hail storms

Wind or hail storms, like the one in spring 2018, can make trees fall onto your rental or blow off shingles from your roof, letting strong rains in damaging the inside of your property. If this happens to you, you are covered by APRIL. 

2. Flood

We all remember the floods from spring 2017 in Quebec, in Calgary in June 2013 or Toronto in July 2013. Provincial and federal governments tend to help flood victims with Disaster Financial Assistance. So, flooding caused by the overflow of a body of water or by a tsunami are usually subject to an exclusion in the home insurance policies. However, commercial insurance can offer you a Flood endorsement with a surcharge. To get the Flood endorsement from APRIL, you need to get a commercial insurance policy. For more information, talk with your broker. 

3. Water infiltration 

Sadly, it is not rare that when snow melts, water infiltrates through your rental foundations’ walls. If this seepage is not repeated and continuous, it would be covered by your APRIL insurance. 

4. Seepage or breakage of a public water main

Canadian infrastructures are considered at 63% of their life expectancy. Bad maintenance, wear and tear of these infrastructures can lead to pipe breakage: resulting in seepage of clean waters in your rental. This kind of claim is covered by APRIL. 

5. Sewer back-up

During strong rains, your city’s sewers can back up. But your basement is probably converted as a rental suite or family room (with TV, video games, sound system…). That’s why we strongly advice you to add the Sewer back up endorsement to your APRIL insurance, for only a few more dollars per year. Moreover, it is advised to install a drain pump or some check valves to reduce the risk of back up. 

6. Freezing pipes

During winter, if your rental place is not heated properly, your pipes can quickly freeze and burst. Read our 10 tips to avoid this problem. If you didn’t manage to avoid a water damage, no worries! Rely on your water damage protection by APRIL.

7. Breakage of plumbing system

A manufacturing defect or improper installation of a pipe of your washing machine or dishwasher made available for your tenants can result into a bursting pipe and an important water damage in just a few seconds if the equipment was working. In this case, you can rely on APRIL.

8. Continuous and repeated seepage 

If one of your plumbing, heating or air conditioning system is seeping continuously or repeatedly; it won’t be covered. Indeed, you are responsible of the good performance and maintenance of your systems. So any damage caused by rust, corrosion or gradual deterioration are excluded. Insurance is here to help for sudden events and accidents such as broken pipes mentioned in items 6 and 7. 

9. Your tenant’s negligence

If your tenant falls asleep in his bath and the water overflows causing damages to your floor, or even to the downstairs neighbors : APRIL insurance will compensate you and will try subrogation. This means that we would contact your tenant’s insurer in order to get back the money that we gave you as he is legally responsible for the damage he caused. That’s why it’s essential to ask your tenants to have for Liability insurance

10. Pool breakage

If damages caused by the freezing/thawing or by the weight of ice are not covered by our insurance; the sudden or accidental discharge (in opposition to the continuous and repeated seepage) of your pool is covered

3 tips to avoid water damage

  • Regular inspection and maintenance of your indoor and outdoor systems (waterprofness of roof and windows, drainage of foundations and outside taps).
  • Make sure that the downspouts are at least at 1.8 meter (6 feet) from the rental so overflow is going towards the street. 
  • Ask your tenant to check the walls and floors after a period of strong rain or thaw.
     

3 things to do in case of water damage

  • Make your rental safe by shutting off water and electricity supply.
  • Drain away and dry your property to avoid mold, take picture of the wet/damaged items. 
  • Contact your insurance broker to advise us of the damage and get to know what to do next.