Flood Insurance to Be Available Canada Wide

Homeowners who found they had little recourse after the severe flooding that impacted their properties in 2013 may now have a recourse.

Aviva Canada has become the first insurer in the country to introduce a consumer-based flood insurance product. The company has launched overland flood insurance coverage in Ontario and Alberta, and other provinces should be able to purchase policies by year-end.

According to a recent article in The Globe and Mail, Aviva Canada realized the need for such a product after a 2013 summer storm caused tremendous damage in parts of Alberta. Homeowners claims were dealt with on a case-by-case basis, and many were disqualified.

Unlike the U.S., Canada does not have a national flood program, and until now, flood insurance existed primarily for commercial properties. Homeowners insurance typically covers sewage backup, but not flooding, and in the Alberta situation it became a matter of interpretation of individual policies-hence the need for some kind of flood protection.

As Sharon Ludlow, president of Aviva Canada, told the Globe: “We think there’s significant consumer demand for a product like this.” Customers, she added, are asking for it. Other companies are expected to follow Aviva’s lead.

According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), insurance claims for natural disasters totalled $3.2 billion in 2013. And the severe weather patterns are expected to continue. The flood of 2013 represented what the IBC terms “a wake-up call.” And for Canadians across the country, that can only be good news.