Beware: Flood insurance isn't guaranteed, and the type you have can vary

Flooding in Canada: Here's why you need specific insurance coverage

Many home insurance policies don't cover floods, and even when they do, it's best to know what type of flood coverage you have.

Andrea Phinney says she's lived in Halifax, N.S., her whole life, but has never experienced flooding like the recent extreme rain event.

"The entire driveway was completely washed away," she told The Weather Network in 2023.

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Work underway on the culvert at the end of Andrea Phinney's driveway (Nathan Coleman/The Weather Network)

Phinney's home in Hammonds Plains does have overland flood insurance, but she didn’t need to use it.

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"The city does own this section of the property, obviously where the culvert is... So they came after some emails to Halifax Water and my city councillor saying that we were landlocked," says Phinney.

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She did have to pay to have her entire driveway re-graded.

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The rainwater moved fast enough to wash out parts of roadways in an instant (Nathan Coleman/The Weather Network)

Gloria Haydock, an Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) expert, recommends you sit down with your insurance representative to talk about what your needs are when it comes to flooding, and to also shop around.

"Flooding coverage is not typically covered under a standard homeowner's policy," says Haydock.

According to Haydock, it is optional coverage and there are areas where you're unable to purchase it because of the higher risk. If you live in close vicinity to a river, stream or lake, or have a history of flooding, it will be very difficult to find coverage.

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There are four different types of flood coverage.

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The first is called overland.

"Overflowing of the rivers, lakes, streams, that type of thing that go into the home through the windows," says Haydock.

Then, there’s groundwater, which covers rain events.

Ground level insurance is when the water table is rising.

The fourth and final type of coverage is sewer backup.

"It's water coming back into your home," Haydock says.

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The IBC is now working very closely with the federal and provincial governments on a national flood insurance program.

WATCH: Flooding in Canada: Here's why you need specific insurance coverage