Edmonton Overland Flood Insurance



Edmonton Overland Flood Insurance

Albertans have seen their share of disasters with wildfires in Fort McMurray this year, after barely getting Calgary back in order following their 2013 flooding. Edmonton is not immune to overland flooding either in fact, according to a Global News story, after the great flood of 1915, the City of Edmonton adopted a policy limiting new development in low-lying areas, which in many ways created the city we know today.

On June 28, 1915, heavy spring runoff and days of rain caused the North Saskatchewan River to rise more than 10 metres, swallowing up much of the low-lying areas and to this day, remains one of the worst natural disasters in Edmonton’s history. Several communities along the river were completely submerged under 13 metres of water, and thousands of Edmontonians were left homeless. The cost of the damage in today’s dollars was well over $20 million.

A 2010 study by the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction identified the need for flood insurance in Canada, but said inadequate and outdated mapping plus inconsistent rules on development in vulnerable areas of some provinces were an obstacle. For example, in the wake of the 2013 floods in southern Alberta, there was widespread confusion and anger amongst many homeowners when they realized the water endorsements on their policies covered them for damage from sewer backup but not overland flooding.

Today, homeowners in Alberta who live in floodplains can now insure their losses from overland waters according to a June 2016 Calgary Herald article. Using new software that maps the risk of inundation down to the individual property level, insurers are now able to price a comprehensive water damage product for those who live near a river as well as homeowners on a hill. The additional coverage, in the lowest risk areas, could add about another $100 a year to the annual premium for a policy that covers a two-storey structure with a finished basement and a replacement cost of about $400,000 including contents.

In the wake of the 2013 overland floods, Alberta also restricted affected homeowners in floodplains from making disaster assistance claims in future disasters while passing new legislation to restrict development in flood-prone areas. If you have questions or concerns about where you live and your eligibility for overland flood insurance in Alberta, or any of the services offered by Drayden Insurance Ltd please contact your Drayden Insurance broker directly during business hours at any of our eight locations including Edmonton 780-482-6300.

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