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Water Damage: Prevention and Protection

Water damage has become the #1 cause of damage to homes in Canada, and is the leading source of property insurance claims today. Changing weather patterns, severe storm events and aging infrastructure has all lead to homeowners needing to be prepared to face the threat of water.


How Water Can Enter Your Home


Sewer Back-Up

There are two sewer sources where water can back up and enter the home:

  • Sanitary sewers, which contain the sewage created by the use of toilets, sinks, drains and other household water use. Sanitary sewage is highly contaminated and can pose serious health risks should it enter the home.

  • Storm sewers, which collect excess water from surface roads, sidewalks, parking lots, etc., caused by heavy rainfall or snow melting.

Sewer Back-Up can occur when either sanitary or storm sewer system, or a combination of both, accumulates more water than the systems can handle. When sewer systems are at their capacity, water can be pushed backwards through to a home’s basement floor drain, toilet and/or sink.

Overland Water

Most Canadian communities have been designed with stormwater management systems, such as overland flow routes, which help carry water from heavy rainfall or snow melt away from residential homes.  As with sewers, these systems have a maximum capacity for water. With the increasing frequency and severity of storms we are seeing across the country, stormwater management systems are reaching capacity at a faster rate than the engineers that built them could ever have forecasted. When the systems are full, water can overflow and enter your home through cracks, windows and doors.


How Pembridge Can Protect Your Home


As of June 15, 2016, our Water Damage Extension now provides coverage, in an all-in-one endorsement, for:

  • Sewer Back-Up, including damage caused by the escape of water from a sewer, drain, sump or septic tank;
  • Overland Water, including damage caused by fresh-water flood and/or rapid accumulation of ground water or surface water.


What is Covered


There are many ways water can enter your home. Our Water Damage Extension endorsement offers protection for Sewer Back-Up and Overland Flooding, but what if your hot water tank suddenly leaks, or your bathtub accidentally overflows?

Check out our Claims Examples diagram to know what’s covered, and what’s not covered.


Water Damage Prevention


There are a number of easy and inexpensive steps you can take to prevent water from entering your home. Please refer to our Water Damage Prevention tip sheet to learn more.


If You Discover Water:

  • Do not enter the area unless you’re sure it’s safe

  • Turn off electrical power and unplug and remove electrical appliances. If you cannot safely shut off your electricity, call your Hydro Company immediately

  • If your home or water is heated with gas, or if you have gas appliances or a fireplace, check for fumes. If you notice an odour, call the Gas Company immediately

  • If the area is safe, take steps to protect your property from further damage:

    • Shut off the main water supply to prevent further damage

    • Move items away from flooded areas and place them on elevated surfaces

    • If the sanitary sewer backs up into your basement, do not flush the toilet or turn on taps

  • Report your claim:

    • During regular business hours – contact your Insurance Broker

    • Outside of business hours – Contact our toll-free Claims Promise line, open 24/7:


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