After a state of emergency was declared in Brantford, Ontario, following severe flooding, the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) has stepped in to help those whose homes have been damaged.
The flooding comes amid milder temperatures resulting in melting snow and increased rainfall.
IBC is helping residents and businesses at its Community Assistance Mobile Pavilion (CAMP) where it will offer insurance-related advice regarding water damage.
The initiative work’s with home, car and business insurers across the country to help Canadians prepare for, and cope with, disasters.
Many homes in the area have been evacuated following a water surge after an ice-jam upstream broke through the Parkhill Dam in Cambridge.
Three neighbourhoods in the area-Holmedale, Old West Brant and Eagle Place-were forced to evacuate. It is recommended that all people living in a flood zone should consider leaving their property until further notice.
"We advise residents that they should contact their insurance representative to determine whether or not they have coverage," said Kim Donaldson, Vice-President of Ontario for IBC.
"Overland flooding is an option in insurance coverage and not every consumer has chosen this feature. Sewer back-up often is included, but that too, depends on your coverage."
This isn’t the first major flood damage Ontario has seen in the last year. Last spring severe flooding in Toronto resulted in $5M in damages to the city’s man-made Island, and lead to the extended closure of the tourist hotspot for the majority of its peak season.
These harsh reminders are hopefully enough to encourage people to check their home insurance coverage. While many natural disasters are not included in standard home insurance, flooding can be an exception for some providers. It is always best to check with your home insurance provider to discover what you are covered for.