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Does your home insurance cover water damage? Probably not


Here’s why that matters: In recent years, climate change has led to more frequent damaging rainfall events (such as severe downpours and thunderstorms), and certain regions are naturally prone to flooding. A flooded basement isn’t cheap to fix—in fact, the average cost to repair that type of damage is over $40,000.

The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) notes that extreme weather events result in an average of $2 billion in annual losses across the country—mostly due to water-related damage. This number was slightly higher than average in 2021 after significant flooding in British Columbia, and water damage recently overtook forest fires as the biggest cause of property damage in Canada. Unfortunately, many home owners in flood-prone locations don’t know the vulnerability of the areas they live in.

Many Canadians lack home flood insurance

If you aren’t familiar with the details of your home insurance policy, you may want to review it carefully—before you may need to make an insurance claim for water damage.

A recent survey by TD Insurance found that just over half of Canadians (51%) don’t have extended water damage coverage or are unsure if they do. Around 20% of home owners are worried they don’t have enough coverage against water damage. Half of home owners aged 18 to 34 are concerned about the increased risk of water damage to their properties due to climate change and extreme weather. Looking at home insurance more broadly, only about a third of Canadians believe that their current policy sufficiently covers their needs. That’s a lot of unconfident home owners!

It may be time to revisit your home insurance policy—especially if you’re like the 23% of Canadians who don’t have extended water damage coverage, according to the same TD Insurance survey. Approximately 16% of Canadians have already experienced water damage to their homes, making this type of coverage a must for many households.

What types of water coverage do you need?

Every home owner has unique home insurance needs, but it’s important to look into extended water damage coverage and above-ground water coverage. Standard home insurance covers some types of water damage—a plumbing or sprinkler system rupture, for example—but not all.

  • Extended water damage coverage, available through TD Insurance, focuses on situations related to below-ground and surface water that are not covered by standard home insurance: sewer backups and sump pump overflows, overland water from a stream or other body of water that’s flooded, and melting snow or heavy rainfall that seeps in from below ground (for example, a crack in your home’s foundation).
  • Above-ground water coverage, available through TD Insurance, protects against sudden and accidental damage due to things like overflowing eavestroughs, downspouts or roof drains, or heavy rain that seeps through a roof, door or other above-ground source.

Both coverage types are important elements of a home insurance plan, but they’re typically add-ons that you’ll need to discuss with your insurer. If you live in one of Canada’s known flood risk zones, such as Toronto or Vancouver, this will impact your insurance quote.

Protect your home from water damage

If you don’t know if you have adequate water damage insurance or if you’re considering upgrading your coverage, talk to your current insurance provider or get a quote online from TD Insurance.


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