Weathering change

Water damage in your home can destroy your belongings and bring a lot of stress and disruption in its wake. But The Personal’s home insurance can help you limit the damage thanks to smart home technology. Our clients can benefit from the Alert water damage prevention program, the 1st program of its kind in home insurance in Canada.

Discover alert

Find out more and sign up for our Alert program by downloading The Personal app.

Am I covered

Having the right water damage coverage can save you a lot of financial headaches. With your basic home insurance, you get essential coverage to protect your home against water damage caused by things like broken plumbing systems or household appliances.

At The Personal, we’ve added even more water damage coverages as part of our H2O+ Protection to protect your property against bad weather. These additional coverages can be added to your policy for even more peace of mind:

  • Water damage - Ground water and sewer back-up (Endorsement 16c)
  • Flood caused by the overflow of a body of water (Endorsement 16d)
  • Water damage - Above ground water and weight of ice, snow or sleet (Endorsement 42)

Here are a few examples that illustrate the range of our home insurance coverage.

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Situations covered under basic coverage:

  • Accidental overflow of bathtub or toilet.
  • Water heater leak due to corrosion of the walls.
  • Leak in a dishwasher or washing machine inlet hose.
  • Water damage to the basement as a result of a break in a municipal water main.

Situations covered under optional water damage – ground water and sewer back-up coverageGo to note [ * ]

  • Sewer back-up in the toilet or floor drain caused by heavy rainfall.
  • Overflow of water from a retention tank used to collect ground water.

Back to content related to asterisk [ * ] Note Insured with The Personal? If you are covered for this type of damage, you will find this coverage in the Coverages section of your insurance policy.

Situations covered under optional water damage – ground water and sewer back-up coverage Go to note [ * ]

  • Water seepage through a crack in the foundation caused by melting snow.
  • Water seepage in the foundation’s wall and floor joints or through a window well caused by a thunderstorm (damage caused by overland flood not included).

Situations covered under optional flood caused by the overflow of a body of water coverageGo to note [ * ]

  • Damage caused by water that reaches your property following the rising or overflow of a body of water.
  • Damage caused by water that reaches your property following a dam break.

Back to content related to asterisk [ * ] Note Insured with The Personal? If you are covered for this type of damage, you will find this coverage in the Coverages section of your insurance policy.

Situation covered under basic coverage:

  • Water seepage caused by damage to a skylight following strong winds.

Situation covered under optional water damage – above ground water and weight of ice, snow or sleet coverage Go to note [ * ]

  • Water seepage caused by melting snow on the roof following a warm spell.

Back to content related to asterisk [ * ] Note Insured with The Personal? If you are covered for this type of damage, you will find this coverage in the Coverages section of your insurance policy.

Situation covered under basic coverage:

  • Water seepage caused by a fallen tree that damages an exterior wall.

Situation covered under optional water damage – above ground water and weight of ice, snow or sleet coverage Go to note [ * ]

  • Water seepage through a joint around a window following a thunderstorm.

Situations covered under optional flood caused by the overflow of a body of water coverageGo to note [ * ]

  • Damage caused by water that reaches your property following the rising or overflow of a body of water.
  • Damage caused by water that reaches your property following a dam break.

Back to content related to asterisk [ * ] Note Insured with The Personal? If you are covered for this type of damage, you will find this coverage in the Coverages section of your insurance policy.

 

Need insurance advice?

Speak with one of our insurance agents for advice on coverages, insurance limits and deductibles. It’s our job to make sure you have the insurance you need! Contact us

Did you know?

The cost of water damage from the Toronto flood in July 2013. 125 mm of rain fell in 2 hours, enough to fill the Rogers stadium at least 60 times.

Freezing rain over a period of more than 6 hours will increase by 80% in the Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec City corridor by 20501.

The number of additional days of rain that Canada records on average now compared to the 1950s.

In Quebec, heavy precipitation will likely increase by 40% in the summer and 17% in the winter1.

Extreme weather events that used to take place every 40 years now occur every 6 years.

Tips and prevention

Spring / Summer

Is your house ready for the spring season? Melting snow brings its share of water damage risks. Take a moment to do a brief inspection and ensure all is in order. Come back each season to consult these simple and handy prevention tips.

Inside

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The backwater valve is part of the plumbing system and is located in the basement. Its simple open-close flap does an important job: making sure the municipal sewage system doesn't back up into the drains. You'll need to clean it as part of your seasonal routine in order for it to work properly. Here's how:

  • Remove the cover and unscrew the access plug (note: if you have a cast iron valve with a bolted cover, it's best to have a plumber do it).
  • Make sure the flap opens and closes freely. Remove any debris and check the condition of the gasket.
  • Replace the flap and make sure there's nothing preventing it from opening and closing.
  • Screw the access plug back on tightly and replace the cover.

Tip from the pros
Did you know that a more efficient, maintenance-free sewer back-up protection system is now on the market? This pneumatic system features a smart valve consisting of a balloon that automatically inflates and blocks the sewer pipe in the event of a back-up. It requires an additional investment to install, but it could prevent significant water damage due to sewer back-up and give you peace of mind.

Whatever the season, take care to inspect the joints of the ceramic tiles around the bathtub and in the shower as well as the condition of the seal around the bathtub. Also check for any leaks around sanitary facilities (toilet, sink, etc.).

Tip from the pros
Consider installing a water leak detection system connected to a shut-off valve. Leak detectors installed close to the water heater that use water automatically closes the water intake valve when a leak is detected. Ask your plumber.

If you have installed a pump, it is recommended that you occasionally check to see if it is working properly:

  • Make sure the pump is on.
  • Clean the tank (of any debris or dirt) to allow water to properly drain.
  • Test the pump by pouring water into the tank; the pump should turn on automatically.

Tip from the pros
Add a battery-run safety pump so that water can continue to be pumped out in the event of a power failure.

This essential fixture can cause serious water damage. The best way to avoid the worst is to replace it at the smallest sign of wear.

Tip from the pros
Consider installing a water leak detection system connected to a shut-off valve. Leak detectors installed close to the water heater that use water automatically closes the water intake valve when a leak is detected. Ask your plumber.

Make sure the hoses are completely dry.

Tips from the pros
Replace plastic or rubber hoses with flexible, metal-reinforced ones.

Consider installing a water leak detection system connected to a shut-off valve. Placed near the main plumbing fixtures in the home, these devices automatically close the water intake valve when a leak is detected. Ask your plumber.

Outside

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Water, snow and ice accumulation can make your roof more vulnerable. Take advantage of the warmer weather to check your roof and repair minor issues in order to prevent possible water damage.

  • Check the roof sheathing and repair any areas that are damaged.
  • Check the condition of the metal flashing (e.g., around the chimney).
  • Check the condition of the skylights.
  • Check the sealing joints around openings.
  • If your roof is flat, make sure that nothing is blocking the drain and the strainer that protects it.
  • Check the condition of the chimney (masonry, metal, anchoring, cap or crown). Make sure that nothing is blocked in the chimney such as a branch or bird's nest.
  • Check the attic for leaks.
  • If you have a flat roof with multiple layers (asphalt and gravel), make sure that the gravel is completely covering the asphalt layer.

Be careful! Roof maintenance can be dangerous. If necessary, seek the help of a professional.

During winter, the weight of the ice and snow may have weakened your gutters, and they may be blocked by various debris. This is why spring maintenance is important. Here's what to do:

  • Remove leaves that have accumulated in the gutters.
  • Check that the gutters are securely attached.
  • Pour water into the gutters to ensure that there are no leaks and the water is escaping down the drainpipe.

Heavy rain can lead to water seepage. That's why you should check these potential weak spots in the spring:

  • Inspect door and window joints to ensure they are watertight.
  • If needed, redo the caulking and replace the weatherstripping.

After the spring thaw, it is crucial to check the condition of the foundation to detect any problems and avoid water-related damage:

  • Carefully inspect the foundation both inside and outside.
  • Have any cracks or evidence of efflorescence (white deposits), seepage or localized humidity more closely assessed by a professional.

Make sure that the slope of the ground around your home is steep enough to move excess water flowing over the land away from the foundation. This will prevent your basement from becoming flooded.

Tip from the pros
A gentle 15 cm slope over a distance of 1.8 m (or 6 in. over 6 ft.) from the house will be sufficient to keep water away from the foundation.

Now that they are accessible again, do the following:

  • Ensure that there is at least 20 cm (8 in.) between the window and the ground. If this is not possible, then add a window well.
  • Get rid of any debris from the window wells that could prevent water from properly draining away from them.
  • Make sure that the sealing joints around the windows are in good condition.

The accumulation of leaves or other debris can prevent the drain from working well. What should you do?

  • Clear the grate of the drain in front of the door of any debris (e.g., leaves, ice, snow) in order to allow water to escape.
  • Also clean the drain underneath the grate so that the drain is not obstructed.
  • Move the gutter drainpipes that empty onto the slope of the garage entryway to prevent the drain from becoming overloaded.

Fall / Winter

Is your house ready for the cold season? Here are some useful tips to ensure it is well protected. Come back each season to consult these simple and handy prevention tips.

Inside

-

+

Whatever the season, take care to inspect the joints of the ceramic tiles around the bathtub and in the shower as well as the condition of the seal around the bathtub. Also check for any leaks around sanitary facilities (toilet, sink, etc.).

Tip from the pros
Consider installing a water leak detection system connected to a shut-off valve. Leak detectors installed close to the water heater that use water automatically closes the water intake valve when a leak is detected. Ask your plumber.

The backwater valve is part of the plumbing system and is located in the basement. Its simple open-close flap does an important job: making sure the municipal sewage system doesn't back up into the drains. You'll need to clean it as part of your seasonal routine in order for it to work properly. Here's how:

  • Remove the cover and unscrew the access plug (note: if you have a cast iron valve with a bolted cover, it's best to have a plumber do it).
  • Make sure the flap opens and closes freely. Remove any debris and check the condition of the gasket.
  • Replace the flap and make sure there's nothing preventing it from opening and closing.
  • Screw the access plug back on tightly and replace the cover.

Tip from the pros
Did you know that a more efficient, maintenance-free sewer backup protection system is now on the market? This pneumatic system features a smart valve consisting of a balloon that automatically inflates and blocks the sewer pipe in the event of a backup. It requires an additional investment to install, but it could prevent significant water damage due to sewer backup and give you peace of mind.

If you have installed a pump, it is recommended that you occasionally check to see if it is working properly:

  • Make sure the pump is on.
  • Clean the tank (of any debris or dirt) to allow water to properly drain.
  • Test the pump by pouring water into the tank; the pump should turn on automatically.

Tip from the pros
Add a battery-run safety pump so that water can continue to be pumped out in the event of a power failure.

This essential fixture can cause serious water damage. The best way to avoid the worst is to replace it at the smallest sign of wear.

Tip from the pros
Consider installing a water leak detection system connected to a shut-off valve. Leak detectors installed close to the water heater that use water automatically closes the water intake valve when a leak is detected. Ask your plumber.

Make sure the hoses are completely dry.

Tips from the pros
Replace plastic or rubber hoses with flexible, metal-reinforced ones.

Consider installing a water leak detection system connected to a shut-off valve. Placed near the main plumbing fixtures in the home, these devices automatically close the water intake valve when a leak is detected. Ask your plumber.

Outside

-

+

Water, snow and ice accumulation can make your roof more vulnerable this winter. How can you prevent it from becoming damaged?

  • Check the roof sheathing and repair any areas that are damaged.
  • Check the condition of the metal flashing (e.g., around the chimney).
  • Check the condition of the skylights.
  • Check the sealing joints around openings.
  • If your roof is flat, make sure that nothing is blocking the drain and the strainer that protects it.
  • Check the condition of the chimney (masonry, metal, anchoring, cap or crown). Make sure that nothing is blocked in the chimney such as a branch or bird's nest.
  • Check the attic for leaks.
  • If you have a flat roof with multiple layers (asphalt and gravel), make sure that the gravel is completely covering the asphalt layer.

Be careful! Roof maintenance can be dangerous. If necessary, seek the help of a professional.

In autumn, gutters are often full of dead leaves and other debris carried by the wind. It is important to unblock the gutters to avoid overflow. Here is how:

  • Remove leaves that have accumulated in the gutters.
  • Check that the gutters are securely attached.
  • Pour water into the gutters to ensure that there are no leaks and the water is escaping down the drainpipe.

Precipitation is typically heavier in autumn and winter. Rain, snow and ice accumulation increases the risk of water seepage. What should you be checking for?

  • Inspect door and window joints to ensure they are watertight.
  • If needed, redo the caulking and replace the weatherstripping.

Before the temperature drops below zero, you must protect the outdoor faucet against freezing. If your house has an outdoor frost-proof faucet, you have simply to ensure that it is firmly closed and remove the watering hose. However, if you have a conventional-type faucet, it is important to drain it to keep it from bursting. Here is how:

  • Close the shut-off valve inside the house.
  • Open the outside faucet in order to drain any water.
  • Close the faucet and cover it for protection.

Before the cold returns, it is crucial to check the condition of the foundation to avoid water-related damage:

  • Carefully inspect the foundation both inside and outside.
  • Have any cracks or evidence of efflorescence (white deposits), seepage or localized humidity more closely assessed by a professional.

Make sure that the slope of the ground around your home is steep enough to move excess water flowing over the land away from the foundation. This will prevent your basement from becoming flooded.

Tip from the pros
A gentle 15 cm slope over a distance of 1.8 m (or 6 in. over 6 ft.) from the house will be sufficient to keep water away from the foundation.

Before the first snow accumulates:

  • Ensure that there is at least 20 cm (8 in.) between the window and the ground. If this is not possible, then add a window well.
  • Get rid of any debris from the window wells that could prevent water from properly draining away from them.
  • Make sure that the sealing joints around the windows are in good condition.

The accumulation of leaves or other debris can prevent the drain from working well. What should you do?

  • Clear the grate of the drain in front of the door of any debris (e.g., leaves, ice, snow) in order to allow water to escape.
  • Also clean the drain underneath the grate so that the drain is not obstructed.
  • Move the gutter drainpipes that empty onto the slope of the garage entryway to prevent the drain from becoming overloaded.

Certain conditions, limitations and exclusions may apply. The terms and conditions of the coverages described are set out in the insurance policy, which always prevails. The information provided is for informational purposes only. The Personal shall not be liable for any damages arising from any reliance upon such information. The Personal recommends using caution and consulting an expert for comprehensive, expert advice.

All property and casualty insurance subsidiaries of Desjardins General Insurance Group Inc. offer this type of program.

1Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction (ICLR), “Telling the weather story” report, prepared for the Insurance Board of Canada, June 2012.

2Insurance Board of Canada and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.

The Personal refers to The Personal General Insurance Inc. in Quebec and The Personal Insurance Company in all other provinces and territories of Canada.