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Canadians don’t understand flood coverage

Almost half (45%) of Canadian homeowners with a ground-level home think they have flood insurance as part of their regular home insurance policy, and 26% don’t know if they have it or not, finds a poll conducted by IBC. At the same time, only 37% admit feeling confident in their level of knowledge about what is covered and what is not in their home insurance policies.

“The fact is that most Canadians are not financially protected against flooding, and they may not realize it,” says Craig Stewart, vice-president, Federal Affairs, IBC. “Climate change is not a future threat – it’s happening now. Over the past three decades we have seen an increase in insured damages, and it is up to all of us – the insurance industry, governments and citizens – to do our part in responding to the effects of climate change.”

As a result, IBC today kicked-off a new consumer flood education campaign that will take place this spring and summer in communities in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario.

IBC Flood Factor interactive booths aim to raise awareness of flood risks and educate homeowners on how they can protect their property from flood damage and prepare themselves for emergencies. At the booths, consumers will see interactive maps that provide a view of residential flood risk, as well as learn how to mitigate that risk. People can also visit http://www.floodfactor.ca/ to test out their knowledge of floods for a chance to win instant prizes.

“Adapting to the impacts of climate change takes a whole-of-society approach,” says Stewart. “It is imperative that we raise Canadians’ awareness of the escalating climate-change risks that we all face. Floods in Canada will continue to happen, and only together can we build a resilient country.”

Here are some additional findings from IBC’s poll.
Canadian homeowners have taken some action to protect their homes from flooding.
56% have cleared leaves from eavestroughs and other areas around the house.
44% have ensured proper lot grading so that water drains away from the home.
40% have ensured downspouts extend at least six feet from the basement wall.
35% have checked sidewalks, patios and driveways to ensure they have not settled and caused water to drain toward the house.
27% have checked window water wells to ensure there is no accumulated water.
23% have created an inventory of the home’s contents, including all valuables.
22% have installed backflow valves for drains, toilets and basement sewer connections.
22% have informed themselves and household members on how to shut off electricity to areas that might be affected by flooding.

Canadian homeowners don’t feel the threat of flooding. ?53% say they are not planning to take any action to protect their homes from flooding in the next several months.
Only 11% have a disaster safety kit in their homes, and 42% of those who do not already have one say they are not willing to assemble one in the near future.

Insurers have a role to play in education. ?The most trusted source for information on how to reduce the risk of flood in the home is a science or flood expert (61% trust this source).
Insurance companies are the second-most-trusted source of information (54%).

Copyright © 2018 Transcontinental Media G.P. This article appeared in the Canadian Insurance Top Broker magazine

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