Introducing Overland Water Protection

November 20, 2015 7 min read
Overland Flood Insurance


Introducing Overland Water Protection! Don’t think you’re at risk? Keep reading.

What Is Overland Water Coverage?

Overland Water Protection covers losses from sudden accumulation or run off of surface water including torrential rainfall as well as overflow from fresh water rivers and lakes.  Specifically, “overland water” is defined as fresh water from rivers and lakes, or water suddenly accumulating from heavy rainfall or spring thaw.  These perils can be covered for customers in eligible areas.

Overland Water Coverage Factors in Manitoba

Most of our insurance company partners are working toward solutions for Overland Water Protection. As such, most of them have gone through the process of identifying how each insured’s home falls into various “zones”.  There are also other factors that apply when determining a home’s likelihood of experiencing overland water issues, such as proximity to a body of water, reverse slope driveway, slope of the yard, etc.

Current Manitoba flood forecasts are indicating we could see high levels of ground and overland water. In an effort to ensure as many of our clients as possible have overland water protection where available, we are taking a proactive approach.

Do I Need Overland Water Coverage?

To simplify, there may be options available to you for overland water protection. Here are scenarios that affect availability of overland water protection depending on your current coverage, the company your policy is with and where your home is located.

If you do not currently have sewer backup coverage.

Overland Water Protection is only available if your policy currently has sewer backup coverage which can only be added at the time of your home insurance renewal.  If this coverage is important to you before your next renewal, it may mean switching from your current provider as it may be added to the new policy when written.  Again, it’s important to know if your home qualifies depending on your zone and other factors. Contact us to explore options that may be available to you.

If you currently have sewer backup coverage.

Wherever possible, we are being proactive at getting coverage in place for our customers by adding an Overland Water Protection endorsement.  If this is the case with your policy, you will soon receive an endorsement notification and advice of the additional premium from your insurance company. Again, this will depend on the zone of your home and other factors.  Once you received notification from the company, call us if you feel this coverage isn’t important to you and we will remove the endorsement.  In most cases, the increase in premium is nominal for this important coverage.

In some cases, depending on your zone and the company you are currently with, this coverage may be “read in”, which means it will be added to your policy mid-term at no additional premium.  You will see this endorsement identified on your next renewal.

If you do not currently qualify for overland water coverage.

Each insurance company has introduced Overland Water Protection using their own data, flood maps, ratings and program features.  In some cases, you may not have coverage available to you with your current company but could qualify with one of our other company partners. 

Still don’t think you are at risk?

  • Today we experience 20 times the storms and floods than two decades ago
  • Severe weather events that use to happen every 40 years are now predicted to happen every 6 years
  • Major floods represent 40% of all natural disasters in this country
  • On average we experience 20 more rain days per year than before
  • Many floods occur in Manitoba that are unrelated to river overflow (i.e. heavy rains, spring run off)

At the national level, the Insurance Bureau of Canada is working on a Canadian solution for flood insurance programs, including flood mapping and coordination with governments.  In the meantime, some insurance companies have developed out coverage options that you may be eligible for which you should be aware of.  Below is a brief overview of each company’s overland water coverage. To see if you are eligible for this coverage come visit one of our locations or contact us.

What Does Overland Water Insurance Cover?

Aviva – Overland Water Protection

What does it cover?

  • Covers losses from sudden accumulation or run off of surface water including torrential rainfall as overflow from fresh water rivers and lakes

Does your property qualify?

  • Can be added as an endorsement to existing Aviva property policies that qualify where sewer back up is in place
  • Available to owners or tenants of houses, condos, rental properties
  • Coverage can be added immediately on properties, seasonal properties, or secondary properties provided your home is eligible
  • Sewer Back Up coverage must be in place when you buy Overland Water Endorsement.  You can buy Sewer Back Up alone-but there is no sewer back up coverage if overland water has entered your home

What is the difference between “Overland Water” and “Flood”?

  • “Overland Water” is fresh water from rivers and lakes, or water suddenly accumulating from heavy rainfall or spring thaw.  “Flood” refers to coastal flooding from salt water, such as tsunamis and tidal waves.  Overland Water is covered; the latter is not.

Flood Insurance Deductible Options:

The Overland Water Endorsement has its own deductible separate from the overall deductible of the policy.  Choose from $1,000, $1,500, $5,000, $10,000, $25,000, and $50,000 dollar deductibles.


Intact – Enhanced Water Damage Package

Available February 2016

What does the Enhanced Water Damage Package Include?

  • Enhanced Water Damage Package is an evolution of the existing Water Escape/Back-Up coverages currently offered to homeowners
  • It includes Sewer Back Up and Water and Sewer Lines coverage for customers who currently have Water Escape/Back-Up coverages and coverage for Overland Water for those that are in eligible zones
  • Ground Water coverage is optional and available for those that have Overland Water coverage

Is this coverage available to me?

  • Coverage is available on Homeowners Comprehensive or Broad Form as well as Seasonal Broad Form

Enhanced Water Damage Package Detailed Description

  • Sewer Back-Up – Customers will be insured against direct physical loss or damage caused by the sudden and accidental backing up or escape of water or sewage within the dwelling or detached private structure through:
  • Sewer Back Up
  • Septic system failure
  • Sump failure
  • Drain
  • Water and Sewer Lines
  • $10,000 coverage to repair or replace exterior water and sewer lines due to loss resulting from a leak, break, tear, rupture, or collapseOverland WaterIf Enhanced Water Damage Package is purchased and the risk is in an eligible Overland Water Zone, Overland Water coverage is automatically included in this package and protects you against:Sewer Back-Up caused by surface water or floodFlood exposures such as overflow of a river or lakeSurface water

The Sewer Back-Up and Overland Water coverage will be subject to the same deductible the customer currently has for their Water Escape/Back-Up coverage.  The Water and Sewer Lines coverage will be subject to a $1000 deductible.

We know this is a lot of information covering every scenario. We feel we are acting in your best interest to ensure we get coverage in place where we can and, where not possible, work to find solutions for coverage as soon as possible. It’s important to note that all companies reserve the right to place a freeze on adding this coverage if the flood forecast worsens so the time to act is now.  Please contact us to further discuss how your particular home and insurance will be impacted when it comes to Overland Water Protection.

Thank you,

Your MIG Team

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Written by

Alex Harms is part of our marketing team at MIG Insurance and she specializes in writing content to make insurance easier to understand for our clients. She obtained her Bachelors in Commerce (Hons.) at the Asper School of Business and worked with MIG as a broker during her studies and now fulltime in a Marketing & Operations role. She has taken on many tasks her at MIG but enjoys the challenge. Outside of work she enjoys spending time with her family as well as her dog Murphy, out at the lake which is their favourite spot!