Flood Insurance and Disaster Financial Assistance in Canada

Friday, October 26, 2018

Flood insurance, a relatively new option of flood recovery, is a proactive approach to preparing for floods. As more insurance companies introduce flood coverage options, homeowners have more solutions available and more reassurance when it comes to protecting homes. Alternatively, in the event of a large-scale natural disaster provincial and territorial governments across Canada provide financial relief through the Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements (DFAA). It’s up to you, the homeowner, to research and learn what options are available after a flooding event. By taking the first step of learning about flood insurance and disaster financial assistance you will be closer to a sound recovery process.

Flooded house

Overland flood insurance was only introduced in Canada in 2015 and is currently offered by a select number of insurance companies. Depending on the insurance company, overland flooding may be included in special package deals or as add-ons to your current policy. After you submit a claim, the insurance company outlines what is and is not covered by your policy. Whatever your situation may-be it is advised that you contact your insurance broker for guidance on what options are available to you. In some high-risk areas flood coverage is not available due to the associated costs, in which case disaster financial assistance may be an option. If your insurance policy has a cap you may then qualify for disaster financial assistance as well.

In the event of a disaster, provincial and territorial governments will announce if the event is eligible for Disaster Financial Assistance (DFA). If so, they will provide those who qualify with financial assistance to support the recovery process. Each province and territory has their own DFA program with maximum payouts and item limits (i.e. furniture and appliances). For example, Alberta does not have a claim limit while Ontario covers 90% of eligible damages to a maximum of CAD $250,000. As a homeowner, it’s worthwhile to learn about the DFA program, including compensation and claim limits, for your province or territory so you can plan accordingly. Also, you will need to record damages and obtain quotes for damages. It is vital to understand that if you qualify for flood insurance but did not purchase coverage, financial relief may not be provided. Each province has additional, more in-depth information available online, which can guide you in your flood recovery planning.

By understanding the ins and outs of your current insurance coverage and your province’s or territory’s DFA program you can be confident in your flood preparation plan. As a prepared homeowner, you will be able to cope with the impacts brought on by flood events and return to your usual routine effectively.


Image: Park Insurance. (2016, August 19). Residential Flood Insurance Coverage Launched in Canada. Retrieved October 17, 2018, from https://park.ca/blog/2016/07/20/flood-insurance-now-available-canada/

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