June 8, 2005 by Canadian Underwriter
A recent advisory released by the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) warns policyholders in southern Alberta to prepare in advance of possible flooding.
Policyholders are told to contact their insurance company or representative as soon as possible if flooding occurs and report any damage to insurers while also taking steps to limit further damage to their property.
The advisory notes that “with residential insurance policies, coverage for sewer back-up may be provided; however, flooding or water seepage is generally not covered.” It further states that some commercial insurance policies may also provide limited coverage for flooding.
“In these situations, it’s best to contact your insurance professional to find
out what coverage you have,” Jim Rivait, vice president, Prairies, Northwest Territories and Nunavut, IBC, says. “If the damage is caused by sewer backup and you have purchased that coverage, your claim will be covered.”
The advisory comes out at a time when recent flash floods in Alberta has forced the evacuation of hundreds of homes in four different communities in southern Alberta where five rivers and creeks are currently under a flood warning Oldman River, Pincher Creek, Sheep River, Highwood River and Willow Creek. High water levels are raising concern that sewer systems may overflow in many areas of Alberta. Sewage backup has already caused a state of emergency to be declared in Claresholm.
Other areas affected include High River, where residents may not be able return home for weeks as a result of sever damage and continued flood warnings. Bragg Creek and Langdon also remain in a state of emergency and extra precautions are being taken in Turner Valley and Black Diamond with evacuation orders persisting. In addition, a flood watch has been issued in Lethbridge. Further areas under flood warnings include Okotoks, Claresholm, Pincher Creek and Fort Macleod.
Environment Canada says relief is at hand as the worst of the flooding is over, ending the heavy rainfall warning for Calgary and areas to the south. Only scattered showers are expected for the next few days. Weather forecasters do however predict that some rivers in Saskatchewan will rise by more than three meters over the next week. Manitoba will also experience more heavy rain and a flash flood watch has been issued for western Manitoba. A upper low weather system stalled over the Prairies and northwestern United States is to blame for the heavy rainfall.