Over 50% of all home insurance claims caused by water damage in 2013, Aviva
Canada data shows
Top Ten Tips to Protect Your Home Against Water Damage This Spring
TORONTO, March 25, 2014 /CNW/ - After the worst year for water damage claims
in Canadian history, Aviva Canada Inc., one of the country's leading providers
of home, auto, leisure and business insurance, is encouraging Canadians to
take steps to protect their property this spring.
"With last year's storms, water damage reached an all time high making up 51%
of all Aviva Canada property claims," states Wayne Ross, Vice President of
Property Claims for Aviva Canada. "The flooding in Alberta and Toronto
certainly played a big part in the increase, but the general trend is upward.
And as severe weather events are growing in frequency, we expect to see more
situations like this in the future."
Aviva Canada paid out a record of over $190 million in water damage claims in
2013, a 69% increase versus 2012. If the 2013 Alberta and Toronto catastrophes
were removed from the calculation, water damage would have still made up 40%
of all property claims for Aviva Canada. The 40% is still a large portion of
total property damage claims and illustrates the need to be aware of how to
protect your property this spring with the winter melt underway.
Data also shows that in 2013, the average cost of a water damage claim rose to
$20,537, a 130% increase versus the $8,944 that the company experienced 10
years earlier. Even with the flooding catastrophes removed, the figures have
trended higher for a number of years.
"The reasons for the upward trend are rather simple," commented Wayne Ross.
"The increasing investment Canadians are putting into their basements,
combined with more frequent severe weather events and an aging sewer system
that is unable to deal with large amounts of water within a short time period,
results in a lot of homes experiencing damage."
Aviva Canada applauds the recent infrastructure investment announcements made
by the Alberta and Manitoba governments and would love to see other provinces
And while an insurance policy is in place to protect against certain weather
events, Canadians need to protect themselves against loss. Many Canadians are
unaware that overland flooding, such as water swells from nearby rivers or
lakes, is not covered under standard home insurance policies and that this
coverage is not widely available.
The top ten steps Canadians should take this spring to safeguard their homes
and possessions from water damage are:
1. Inspect your roof:To prevent leaks, get the roof inspected every
few years to check the condition of the shingles and replace when
2. Clear out gutters:Prevent blockages, such as leaves and other
debris that could force water into your home.
3. Install a backwater valve:These valves close automatically if the
sewer backs up and can prevent thousands of dollars in damage.
4. Scope out your sump pump: If your basement has one, examine it and
conduct a test run if it doesn't get used frequently.
5. Slope right:Ensure that soil, walkways and patios slope away from
the home to allow for proper drainage.
6. Check your foundation:As ice melts, if you notice water pooling in
certain areas, clear it away from your home.
7. Ensure your window wells are debris-free:Clear any accumulated
garbage or leaves to allow water to drain properly.
8. Ensure street catch basins are not blocked:These prevent snow from
building up on the street level, protecting water from seeping
towards your property.
9. Protect your valuables:If your home is prone to water damage,
consider moving valuables away from high-risk areas such as the
basement, or place items on high shelves or risers.
10. Start right:If you are finishing your basement, make sure to seal
your exterior walls.
Without taking such precautions, homeowners could put their homes and family
belongings at great risk. A provincial breakdown of the comparison in the
average cost of water damage claims from 2003 versus 2013 is included below.
The data highlights the increases we experienced in Alberta and Ontario, and
also the trend that has taken place across the country over the last ten years.
Canadians are encouraged to reach out to their insurance broker to make sure
they know the extent of their water damage coverage.
About Aviva Canada
Aviva Canada is one of the leading Property and Casualty insurance groups in
Canada providing home, automobile, recreational vehicle, group and business
insurance to more than three million customers. A wholly-owned subsidiary of
UK-based Aviva plc, the company has more than 3,000 employees, 25 locations
and 1,700 independent broker partners. Aviva Canada and its employees invest
in positive change including through the Aviva Community Fund and Eva's
Initiatives, its partner in Aviva's global Street to School program to help
homeless and other at-risk youth reach their potential.
For more information visit AvivaCanada.com, our blog or our Twitter, Facebook
and LinkedIn pages.
SOURCE Aviva Canada Inc.
Media Contact: Glenn Cooper Senior Manager, Public Relations and Social
Media Aviva Canada Inc. Desk: (416) 288-2685 Mobile: (416) 523-3225
Image with caption: "Comparison of Average Cost of Water Damage Claims 2003
vs. 2013 (CNW Group/Aviva Canada Inc.)". Image available at:
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CO: Aviva Canada Inc.
-0- Mar/25/2014 13:00 GMT
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