Gore Mutual Insurance Company announced on Thursday that it is expanding its water damage coverage with a new combined overland water and sewer backup product called WaterEscape Plus.
The coverage is available as an endorsement to all eligible Ontario personal property insurance policies that have sewer backup protection in place effective March 1, Gore Mutual explained in a press release. Eligible customers account for 80% of Gore Mutual’s existing personal property policies, and all of these customers will receive the enhanced coverage right away, the company said.
The enhanced coverage is designed to protect homeowners and tenants from fresh water flood damage resulting from the accumulation of surface water, including rainfall that enters the property, which is protection not currently available from all insurers.
Gore Mutual added that it is working on “further solutions,” with a goal of providing affordable coverage to 95% of its Ontario and British Columbia customers.
“We know that water damage is now a significant threat to Canadian homes,” said Anna McCrindell, vice president of Gore Mutual in the release. “Our enhanced WaterEscape Plus solution provides thorough, competitive and affordable overland water and sewer backup protection as part of our home insurance product.”
In recent decades, temperatures and severe weather events in Canada have been on the rise, with flooding representing 40% of all natural disasters.
Personal property insurance policies typically cover water damage caused within the home like burst pipes and sewer backup but until recently, coverage for overland water damage was not available. In response to the floods in Alberta and Toronto in 2013, some insurers have developed solutions to help protect homeowners and tenants from overland water.
“We listened closely to flood experts and insurance brokers to bring a simple, affordable and easy to implement solution to market quickly,” said McCrindell. “Our goal is to provide affordable coverage to at least 95% of our customers, and we’re working quickly towards that. It’s a simple product with very few restrictions.”