Flood insurance & disaster assistance

Understanding the differences in order to better serve your flood-related needs

Flooding is Costing Canadians

Flooding is Canada’s most costly natural disaster. Flooding accounts for 6 of the top 9 most expensive natural disasters in Canada over the past 25 years, and insurers and taxpayers have spent over $12 billion in the last 10 years to recover from flood events. On average, the cost to repair a flooded basement is $43,000. The cost of flooding often increases when we consider time away from work and the related physical and mental health costs.  Without adequate insurance or disaster assistance, experiencing a flood can be financially devastating for Canadians.


Overland Flood Insurance

Overland flood insurance is a product that insures a home damaged by water that has entered through windows and doors from floods caused by heavy rainfall, overflowing lakes, ponds and rivers. It is not usually included in a typical home insurance policy and it must be purchased separately from your provider. Overland flood insurance has been available in Canada since 2015; however, many Canadians are not aware of it and many eligible homes do not have this important insurance coverage. More information from the Insurance Bureau of Canada: A GUIDE TO Residential Water Damage and Flood Insurance

Important: In some provinces, disaster assistance (explained below) may not be available to homes that would have qualified for overland flood insurance, so learn about your flood risks and insurance options before a flood.

Sewer Back-up Insurance

Sewer back-up insurance is another optional insurance product that covers the home against damage from flooding from unexpected back-up from the home’s sewers, septic pumps, and other pipers and drains.

Insurance for Renters

Insurance to protect against flooding and other water damage is also important for Canadians who rent their home. Often called “renters” or “tenant insurance”, many providers offer insurance options that cover renter’s personal belongs and other related costs.

Flood Coverage Providers

A number of businesses across the country now offer overland flood insurance, resources on the most effective flood preparedness actions that homeowners can take and information related to flood emergency preparedness. While this list is not meant to be exhaustive, examples of providers are provided below.

*Please note that FloodSmartCanada and Partners for Action do not take responsibility for the verification of the services and information identified below.

Desjardins Insurance
H2O+ Protection

Economical Insurance
– Economical Insurance Website

The Guarantee Company of North America
– Guarantee Gold H2O+TM

Huestis Insurance Group
– Overland Flood Insurance Protection

Insurance Brokers Association of Canada
“The Big If”

Insurance Bureau Canada (IBC)
– Disaster

Intact Insurance
– Water Damage Coverage

Overland Flood Insurance Canada
Waterproof your home

The Personal Insurance Company

Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Company of Canada
– Waterproof Coverage

SGI Canada
– Water and sewer coverage

Square One Insurance
– Flood Damage and Insurance

Trillium Mutual Insurance Company
– Overland flood coverage

Wawanesa Insurance
– Water Defence Coverage

Common Insurance Tips Recommended by Experts

There are actions you can take now to get organized and be prepared in case you experience a flood or other natural disasters.  For example:

  • Read your insurance policy to see if you have coverage for flood damages.
  • If you are not sure what you are covered for, call your insurance provider.
  • Renters and homeowners: have an up-to-date inventory of your home’s contents, especially its most valuable contents, and store this in your emergency kit.
  • Most insurance policies automatically renew annually. Review your policy once a year and contact your insurance provider to make any necessary changes.
  • Store your insurance provider’s contact information in your emergency kit so you know how to contact them if you need to evacuate your home.
  • Make sure you keep your insurance policy and personal data in a safe location, preferably on the highest level of your property to prevent water damage.
  • If you experience flooding call your insurance representative or company when safe to do so and begin your claims process. Remember to be as detailed as possible when providing information.
  • Provide a detailed list of all damaged or destroyed items. If possible gather proofs of purchases, receipts and photos of all damaged items, unless it is unsafe to do so.
  • Save all receipts related to cleanup and living expenses if you have been displaced. Talk to your insurance representative about what costs you may be entitled to and for what period of time.

Disaster Assistance Funding for Canadians

Canada’s provinces and territories operate a disaster relief program, with support from the federal government’s Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements (DFAA). Disaster assistance is usually made available to eligible residents, small business, agricultural producers and charities following an unexpected disaster, including significant flooding event.

To access disaster assistance, Canadian’s must first apply to be considered for funding. Information on available funding, limits on payments for damages, how and when to apply, is usually made available on your provincial government’s website. Unlike personal insurance, disaster assistance only covers the cost of basic damages and expenses.

Disaster assistance programs vary across Canada, but the process is generally the same, regardless of where you live. This image describes and shows the general process for accessing disaster assistance funding

Disaster Assistance Programs

*Please note that FloodSmartCanada and Partners for Action do not take responsibility for the verification of the services and information identified below.