For a brief time in my life, I was an Albertan. I owned a nice little condo backing onto parkland with a small pond fed by a local stream. I had a view of the Rockies from my back deck, and a walk-out basement onto the park. I bought in the south end of my small town because all the locals warned me that the north end and downtown flooded. "It's called High River for a reason," they said. Well, they were right.
As fate would have it, I sold my condo and moved back to Ontario about 18 months before that same small Alberta town had to be evacuated due to recent flooding. Judging from the photos I found online of my old neighbourhood following the evacuation, the little pond in the park had grown considerably, and the second-floor deck of my former condo could have been used as a dock: the water was that high.
The second-floor deck of my former condo could have been used as a dock: the water was that high.
If nothing else, recent events like those in High River — and, closer to home, a brief but destructive mid-summer deluge in Toronto — have reminded us about the limits of property insurance when it comes to flooding.
The bigger question is this: do you know about your coverage limits, your options, and what you can do about them? Considering one of your biggest personal investments is likely your home, how much time have you spent thinking about reducing your risk of incurring damage? And since having insurance is never as good as avoiding the loss in the first place, do you know what you can do about limiting or avoiding losses? Here are some helpful suggestions:
The reality for most of us is that some risks we choose to insure, and others we choose to take on without insurance. Each of us must make our own decision: there is no one "right answer" for everyone. The important thing to keep in mind is that we should take the time to ensure the decisions we make are the result of a deliberate, informed thought process, and not simply due to some third party — like an insurance company — deciding what's best for us.
For information on OMA Insurance products and services call 1.800.758.1641 to speak to a non-commissioned OMA Insurance Advisor.