Water damage insurance

Damage caused by a sanitary installation, breakage of a public water pipe, water infiltration, sewer backup, insurance contracts in principle provide protection in case of damage caused by water but not in all cases. Recall that the syndicate has an insurable interest throughout the building, including the private portions. He must take out insurance providing for a reasonable deductible, against the usual risks covering the entire immovable, excluding improvements made by a co-owner to his part when they can be identified in relation to the description of this part.


Insurance of the syndicate of co-owners

Since 1994, article 1073 C.c.Q. provided that the syndicate must take out insurance " against ordinary risks, such as fire and theft ", without specifying all the risks to be covered by this insurance. This problem was generally solved by taking out "all-risk" insurance, but the legislator saw fit to specify which risks must be minimally covered, as well as how to exclude some of them.

Section 1073 of the Civil Code of Quebec was therefore amended by removing, in the first paragraph, the words "such as theft and fire" and by adding, in the last paragraph: " an insurance contract entered into by a syndicate covers, by operation of law, at least the risks prescribed by government regulation, unless the policy or a rider sets out, expressly and in clearly legible characters, which of those risks are excluded..."  »

This amendment adds a formal obligation for insurers to cover a certain number of risks, unless they are excluded by clearly identifying them with the syndicate, in a rider in clear (typographical) characters, in the insurance policy or in an amendment.

Section 4 of the Regulation provides that the risks that a property insurance contract taken out by the syndicate must cover are: "theft, fire, lightning, storms, hail, explosions, water leak damage, sewer backup and overflows from appliances connected to water distribution piping within the building, strikes, riots or civil disturbances, the impact of an aircraft or vehicle, and vandalism or malicious acts"

Insurance of the co-owner

Most co-ownership insurance policies do not cover damage caused by sewer backups or surface water (including overflowing lakes and rivers, heavy rains and snowmelt in the spring). That said, coverage for sewer backups and surface water can often be added to the co-owner's home insurance policy. A co-owner has every interest in having additional protections related to water damage added to his insurance contract. If, as a result of damage in the common portions, the amount of insurance taken out by the syndicate of co-owners is not enough to pay for the repairs, all or some of the co-owners may have to contribute. By having these protections, a co-owner could then call on his insurer to pay such an amount.

In addition, each co-owner is required to insure himself against the risks of civil liability for which he must answer in his capacity as co-owner occupant or co-owner non-occupant (rented housing). These protections are included in a co-owner's home insurance policy. Liability insurance can cover bodily injury or property damage that you or the occupants of your unit have caused to the common or private portions of the building. This coverage affects the sums that are not covered by the insurer of the syndicate, due to the deductible, the insufficiency or the absence of coverage of the building insurance of the syndicate.


 WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW!  According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, between 30% and 35% of co-owners do not have coverage for water damage, the leading cause of home insurance claims.

http://www.condolegal.com/images/Boutons_encadres/A_retenir.png WHAT TO KEEP IN MIND: Water damage is the most common in divided co-ownership. In about 60% of cases, problems come from the outside (water infiltration through the roof or windows, sewer backups, etc.), while in 40% of cases, water damage emanates from the inside (leaking faucets, defective water heaters, etc.).

 WARNING! Each claim represents a cost for both the syndicate and the co-owners individually: disturbances and inconveniences for the affected co-owners and payment of the deductible for the syndicate.



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