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Water damage and municipal insurance

July 24, 2019

It’s summer in Alberta, which means any number of weather-related challenges on the horizon. This year, many parts of Alberta are experiencing higher-than-average rainfall, as well as intense summer storms. Some municipalities are experiencing flooded streets, water coming into commercial and residential buildings, and sewer back-up problems.

When these situations happen in your municipality, it’s difficult not to feel sympathy for the businesses or citizens affected. Water damage to properties is stressful and emotional, and it’s natural to want to help our friends and neighbours any way possible. In some instances, municipal staff may, with the best of intentions, promise to pay for or fix damage.

Something to keep in mind with situations involving water damage is that some aspects are covered under homeowner or business insurance, rather than being the responsibility of the municipality via their insurance program (such as our insurance offerings). Part 13 of the Municipal Government Act also provides indemnity to municipalities in certain scenarios.

If a municipal worker promises to pay for a type of loss that isn’t covered under your municipal insurance program, this can mean that your municipality has effectively accepted liability for damage caused by high water levels or sewer back-up – and you may be left with the bill.

We have tools to help. Contact us at 310-AUMA and speak to our claims team for access to sewer back-up claims best practices guides and templates, as well as dedicated claims professionals to help do what is in the best interest of our members.