The Disaster Recovery Program (DRP) provides financial assistance for uninsurable loss and damage caused by emergencies and disasters. The DRP helps return essential property to its basic, pre-disaster functional condition.
The DRP is the last recourse to assist you after a disaster. You must access your own insurance options first. When private insurance is considered readily and reasonably available for a disaster, costs associated with that disaster are not eligible for the DRP.
The DRP does not cover all types of damage or loss and does not typically cover the full cost of replacement.
Educating yourself on what your insurance program delivers is one of the most important strategies to help protect your family, home or business and your recovery from a disaster.
Disaster insurance coverage
Readily and reasonably available
Readily and reasonably available is the ease of accessibility of insurance coverage for disaster events, and the amount of insurance coverage provided, relative to the level of risk.
Contact your local insurance company or broker to discuss your needs and what is covered.
The premiums you pay for insurance coverage depends on where you live and will vary by insurance company and coverage choices. You should be aware of the level of risk and purchase adequate insurance for your property.
As insurance guidelines vary between insurers, you should check with your insurance provider on your coverage amounts, coverage limit maximums and if any exclusions may apply (for example, what kind of sewer back-up damage is eligible or ineligible.
Deductibles are not eligible for reimbursement under the DRP.
Repairing a damaged basement
Policy limits, eligibility and exclusions are important insurance considerations for overland flooding and sewer back-up following a disaster. At minimum, one should try to have enough insurance coverage to repair or replace a damaged basement, as this is the most common part of the home that is damaged by flood events.
If you had to evacuate your home, the Insurance Bureau of Canada recommends that you keep receipts for expenses such as food, clothing and lodging.
Contact your insurance provider for more information.
Flooding – overland
Overland flooding is where water flows overland and seeps into buildings through windows, doors and cracks. This type of insurance is not yet considered readily and reasonably available to all Albertans.
Overland flooding commonly occurs:
- when the volume of water in a river or stream exceeds the capacity of the channel
- after heavy rainfall, especially in the spring, when the ground is still frozen or already saturated from previous storms
- following rapid melting of snow and ice jams
Overland flood insurance is offered by the majority of insurance companies in Alberta. You are expected to purchase adequate overland flood insurance if it is available to you.
The amount you pay for coverage will depend on where you live and premiums will vary by insurance company and coverage type. If overland flood insurance is not readily and reasonably available to you, you may qualify for assistance through the DRP.
Three reasons why you should prepare your home and property from flooding
Insurance and disasters
Flooding – sewer back-up
Sewer back-up insurance is generally considered readily and reasonably available in Alberta and policy holders are expected to maintain this insurance as part of their overall insurance planning.
Insurance policy language concerning sewer back-up coverage can be complex. Check your policy to learn if you have coverage for overland flooding and/or sewer back-up damage.
Wildfire events start in wild areas, such as a forest and can sometimes enter communities and cause extensive damage. Fire insurance is readily and reasonably available in Alberta and often includes assistance for costs incurred during an evacuation.
Tornadoes and high winds
High winds and tornadoes can cause loss and damage from flying debris or falling branches to homes, businesses, farming operations and public infrastructure. Insurance coverage for these events is considered readily and reasonably available in Alberta.
Snow, hail and ice storms
Damage to property from hail and ice storms, falling ice, flying debris, and snow entering a home or building through sudden openings or damage from frozen pipes can be devastating. This type of damage can affect homes, businesses, farming operations and public infrastructure. Insurance coverage for these events is considered readily and reasonably available in Alberta.
Insurance coverage for earthquakes is considered readily and reasonably available as a supplementary coverage.
This supplementary private sector coverage, typically includes the loss or damage caused to the property and its contents.
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