Water damage claims in Canada now make up 53% of all property insurance losses.*
As a former Insurance Broker I can attest to this statistic and even suggest that if all damage to property were reported & covered, that the number would be even higher. Why this growing trend? This is truly the fault of our own progression & modernization. If you consider that at only 100 years ago almost no one had water running or electricity into their homes, you can understand that damage from water was rare & in turn damage from fire was high. Electrical code (if you did have electricity running to your home) was non-existent & lighting your way by oil lamp & heating your house with firewood in a cast iron stove was the norm.
In this relatively short period of time we have evolved from indoor plumbing being a novelty of the rich to living in homes which in some cases have more bathrooms than bedrooms, appliances that wash our clothes & dishes and Hot water tanks sitting in our basements. This is the new normal. And although our electrical & heating prowess has grown to an art form in terms of safety and security, we haven’t yet solved the water puzzle.
I recall years ago as I was navigating the ropes as a first time homeowner, I was wrestling with a leaky garage. Every time it rained the water entered and soaked the floor. My wise neighbor was having a laugh at the many attempts I had made to band aid the situation.
I was sure I could avoid what I though was the large bill it would take to properly re mediate the situation. Being a good neighbor he didn’t laugh too hard but instead offered the patient insight that I’ll always remember; he said to me “Water will find a way”. And it did, through every contraption, patch & quick fix I could throw at it.
I was lucky in the end that the water never did come into the house through the garage & after the painful reality of defeat had sunk in, I opened up my wallet and the phone book to call in a professional. I was however not so luck a few years ago when the washing machine malfunctioned a flooded my entire basement in 4 inches of water. I was so busy concerned about water coming in from the outside I never considered I’d get hit from the inside. My neighbors words echoed true: Water had found a way!
It turned out a simple $6 hose had burst and caused $25,000 in damage. (by the way: the cost of the upgraded braided hose I could have bought at the hardware store instead was only $12). Yes, two months and too many headaches later, I was able to rent out my basement again. Not only had I displaced my tenant and had to find a new one, I lost the income from rents, the deductible and my claims-free discount on my insurance policy (not mentioned the hours I spent on the loss salvaging property from the flooded basement).
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