Flood insurance Q&A

Flood Insurance Saskatchewan Q&A: Unveiling the Hidden Truths

In the vast prairies of Saskatchewan, where golden fields stretch as far as the eye can see, it’s easy to forget that nature’s fury knows no bounds. While the province is renowned for its breathtaking landscapes and warm-hearted communities, it is not immune to the devastating effects of flooding. The consequences of not having flood insurance can be financially devastating. Even a few inches of water can result in thousands of dollars in damages, including structural repairs, mold remediation, and the loss of personal belongings.


Understanding the Risk of Flooding in Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan is no stranger to flooding. With its diverse topography, including rivers, lakes, and wetlands, the province is prone to both riverine and flash flooding. According to the Saskatchewan Water Security Agency,

Over the past decade, there has been an alarming increase in the frequency and severity of flood events.

However, despite this growing risk, many homeowners remain unaware of the importance of flood insurance.


The Gaps in Coverage

When it comes to insurance, homeowners often assume that their standard home insurance policy covers all types of water damage. Unfortunately, this misconception can lead to devastating consequences. Most traditional home insurance policies do not provide coverage for flood-related damages.

Spills, burst pipes, or accidental overflows: Most standard home insurance policies cover water damage caused by things inside your home. Sudden and accidental water damage due to spills and other indoor water mishaps may also be covered. However, the damage caused by water entering your home from external sources, such as heavy rainfall, sewer backups, or sump pump failures, is not covered.


The Role of Government Programs

In response to the escalating flood risks, the Government of Saskatchewan, in collaboration with the federal government, established the Provincial Emergency Program (PEP). This program offers financial assistance to individuals and communities affected by natural disasters, including floods. While this aid is invaluable in times of crisis, it is essential to note that it may not fully cover the cost of recovery and rebuilding.

In addition, back in 2023, the government released FloodSafe Saskatchewan. This joint initiative between the provincial insurance industry and various public stakeholders is intended to help prevent water losses by providing additional education on the subject. Learn more about this risk from FloodSafe Saskatchewan and how water might impact you.


Private Flood Insurance Options

Recognizing the need for comprehensive flood coverage, some private insurance companies have stepped in to fill the gaps left by traditional policies. These specialized flood insurance products offer protection against damages caused by both riverine and flash flooding. However, it is important to carefully evaluate these options, as coverage and premiums may vary significantly between providers.

What kind of Optional Add-ons are Available?

While optional add-ons vary by insurance company and location, here are two of the more common water-related add-ons to discuss with your broker:

  1. Flood/Overland Water Damage: Insurers refer to ground flooding as overland flooding. If the water touches the ground before entering your home, it’s overland flooding, and most home insurance policies don’t automatically provide coverage. Overland water coverage protects you from sudden damage caused by excessive rain, overflowing rivers, spring run-off, and melting snow. It usually excludes damage by saltwater, including tidal waves and tsunamis.

Overland flooding is the leading cause of property damage and loss in Saskatchewan. – Floodsafe Saskatchewan

  1. Sewer and Drain Back-up: Root growth, blockages, or even breaks in the pipes exiting your home can cause backups in kitchens, laundry rooms, or bathrooms. A standard home insurance policy doesn’t provide coverage, but you’ll often be able to purchase coverage as a rider to your policy. Sewer backup coverage protects you from loss or damage to your property caused by the rupture or escape of water from a sewer, drain, sump pump, or septic system. Remember that coverage doesn’t extend to the sewer pipes outside your home.

For exterior underground piping and wiring coverage, including permanent connections, valves, or attached devices, ask about Service line coverage.

Tip: Installing a backwater valve can help minimize your risk of a sewer backup.

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Q&A: Top Searches on Flood Insurance

Q: What is flood insurance?

A: Flood insurance is a specialized insurance policy that provides coverage for damages caused by flooding. It is designed to protect homeowners from financial losses resulting from flood-related damages to their property.

Q: How do I know if I need flood insurance?

A: If you live in a flood-prone area or near bodies of water, it is highly recommended to have flood insurance. Even if you don’t live in a high-risk area, flood insurance is still worth considering, as flood events can occur unexpectedly.

Q: Can I purchase flood insurance separately from my home insurance policy?

A: No, flood insurance is typically purchased as an additional coverage to be added to your homeowner’s policy.

Q: How much does flood insurance cost?

A: The cost of flood insurance varies depending on factors such as the location of your property, the level of risk, and the coverage limits you choose.

Q: Is flood insurance required in Saskatchewan?

A: While flood insurance is not legally required in Saskatchewan, it is strongly recommended, especially for homeowners in flood-prone areas.

Q: Can I get flood insurance if I have already experienced a flood?

A: Yes, you can still get flood insurance even if you have experienced a flood in the past. However, disclosing any previous flood-related damages when applying for coverage is important, as it may affect the cost and availability of insurance.

Q: Can renters get flood insurance?

A: Yes, renters can also purchase flood insurance to protect their personal belongings in the event of a flood. Renters need to understand that the landlord’s insurance policy typically does not cover the tenant’s personal property.

Q: Can I get flood insurance if my property is located in a designated floodplain?

A: You can still get flood insurance if your property is in a designated floodplain. In fact, it is highly recommended to have flood insurance in these areas as they are at a higher risk of flooding.

Q: How do I file a flood insurance claim?

A: In the event of flood-related damages, it is important to contact your insurance provider as soon as possible to initiate the claims process. They will guide you through the necessary steps and documentation required to file a claim.


Protecting your home and belongings from the devastating effects of flooding is crucial. While standard home insurance policies may not provide coverage for flood-related damages, specialized flood insurance can offer the financial protection you need. Whether you live in a flood-prone area or not, considering flood insurance is a wise investment in safeguarding your property and securing your peace of mind. Consult with an experienced insurance broker to assess your flood risk and explore the best flood insurance options for your specific needs. Don’t wait until it’s too late – take proactive steps to protect yourself from the hidden truths of flooding in Saskatchewan.

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