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Insurance

Updated Nov 2, 2015

Contact numbers and insurance information for Albertans affected by the floods.

Before a flood

Review your property insurance policies — call your insurance company or broker if you have questions about your coverage. You can also change insurance companies if you do not feel that your current insurance policies meet your needs.

There are preventative tips to reduce the risks associated with flooding, such as:

  • moving valuable items from your basement to higher levels in your home
  • clear eavestroughs and downspouts — if safe to do so — to direct water away from your home
  • asking someone to check your property if you are away

Information on preparing for a flood
Information on flood mitigation for your home or business

After a flood

First steps to take if you have property damage:

  • contact your insurance company
  • take photos to document the damage
  • keep any receipts for expenses incurred from flooding

Overland flooding

Overland flooding happens when water overflows onto dry land and causes damage.

Some insurance companies are now providing overland flood insurance. In those cases where overland flood insurance is not readily and reasonably available, the Disaster Recovery Program may still be available to eligible Albertans. The Alberta government encourages all homeowners, tenants, and small business owners to contact their insurance companies to find out what options are available to best protect them from disasters.

Water damage from a sewer backup may be covered (subject to limits and exclusions) if specific sewer backup coverage has been purchased. Property insurance is not a mandated product, like basic automobile insurance, so each insurance company will have its own policy wording and coverage limits to consider for each claim. Contact your broker or insurance company to review your policy.

The government expects all insurance companies to honour the contracts they have with their customers. Insurance companies will not be expected to go above and beyond their contractual obligations, as some voluntarily chose to do following the 2013 Southern Alberta floods.

Vehicle damage

Damage to vehicles from water is usually covered on an auto insurance policy if you have purchased physical damage coverage. This coverage is not mandatory - review your auto insurance policy and contact your insurance company.

Claims

If you have questions about your insurance company, contact the Insurance Bureau of Canada's Consumer Information Centre.

Claim disputes

If you don't agree with the resolution of a claim, you can contact someone in your insurer's claims management area to discuss your issue.

Most insurance companies also have an internal ombudsperson you can contact for an additional level of review. If possible, have your details and policy papers ready before you call.

You may wish to contact the General Insurance OmbudService (GIO) if you still have not reached a resolution:

Another option available is to seek legal counsel.

Insurance resources from the Insurance Bureau of Canada

Disaster Recovery Program

Disaster recovery programs (DRPs) provide financial assistance for uninsurable property damage, loss and other expenses after an extraordinary event. Municipalities apply for DRP on behalf of residents.

Update regarding "Overland Flood Insurance Coverage" offered by Beaufort Insurance Services

The Office of the Superintendent of Insurance recently became aware of this policy and is working with its underwriters to ensure compliance with the Insurance Act. They are also exploring potential issues with the policy that may arise if floods on the scale of those experienced in southern Alberta last June happen again.

Questions regarding the 'Overland Flood Insurance Coverage' offered by Beaufort Insurance Services can be directed to the Office of the Superintendent of Insurance at 780-427-8322 or insurance@gov.ab.ca