The 5 Different Types of Water Damage Coverage


All water damage incidents are the same, aren’t they? Water damage is water damage, so it should be covered, right?



Unfortunately, not all water damage incidents are the same and it really all depends on how the water entered your home! As we all know, sometimes mother nature has other plans, so it’s important to know how your insurance policy covers you when it comes to water.


Our knowledgeable Insurance Brokers here at Costen Insurance are here to help explain what water damage incidents can be covered under your property insurance policy and what makes them different when making a claim on your policy.


1. General water damage

General water damage coverage is already a part of your property insurance policy. This includes protection against sudden and accidental water damage caused by (but not limited to) the following examples:

  • Burst pipe, burst dishwasher line, overflowing toilet;
  • Escape of water from a fish tank or your appliances or from a public watermain;
  • System ruptures, such as plumbing, air conditioning, heating, or sprinkler system.


2. Sewer Backup

Sewer backup coverage is very important to have and we recommend adding it to your policy when available. It covers losses from the backing up of sewage into your home. This typically comes from the basement drains, toilets, drains, sinks, eavestroughs and downspouts.

These damages are expensive to repair and can cause health issues if not repaired properly and in a timely fashion.


3. Overland water

Overland water provides coverage in the event of rising water over dry land (think back to the 2013 Alberta Floods). Some loss examples of what overland water insurance can cover are:

  • The overflow of lake water;
  • A large rainfall (ie. flash rain floods);
  • Melting snow and run-off;
  • Rising rivers.



4. Ground water

Ground water provides coverage against the sudden and accidental entrance of groundwater into your home or additional buildings through basement walls, foundations, or floors and from the rising of the water table.


5. Service Line Coverage

Service line coverage is a newer coverage offered by most insurance companies and provides coverage for damage to the water and sewer lines that run from a property to the city property line. Each company has slightly different wordings and some of them will also cover the electrical lines that run underground.



What if I own or am renting a high-rise condo or apartment? Why would I consider adding water coverage to my policy?

Let’s say the lobby or the lower-level parking and storage area of your condo or apartment suffered a loss from a flood due to heavy rainfall.  If you are no longer able to access your unit and you have water damage coverage, your policy will provide coverage (up to your policy limits) for your valuables stored in the lower-level parking and storage area or on the ground floor.  As well, if you are no longer able to occupy your unit due to necessary repairs to the condo or apartment building caused by water damage, your policy could provide coverage under Additional Living Expenses.

Water damage is one of the leading causes of property damage!


Insurance companies vary in the type of coverage they will offer, so we recommend speaking with your Insurance Broker to find out what coverage and limits you may be eligible for.


Stay dry!

The Costen Insurance Team


Please note: all endorsements are subject to policy wordings and exclusions. For further information or to discuss your coverage, please speak with your Broker!