Chestermere flood victims concerned over insurance shortfall

Residents of Chestermere say they could be out thousands of dollars because the province will not cover the cost of repairs from sewer backups as a result of heavy floods last summer.

Province's Disaster Recovery Program only covers certain types of damage from heavy flooding

A heavy rainstorm in July 2015 left nearly 300 homeowners with damage to their property. (Justin Pennell/CBC)

Residents of Chestermere say they could be out thousands of dollars because provincial insurance will not cover the cost of repairs from sewer backups as a result of heavy floods last summer.

Municipal Affairs Minister Danielle Larivee says homeowners will receive one-on-one support to ensure their claims are processed. (CBC)

During a visit to the city on Thursday, Municipal Affairs Minister Danielle Larivee said the province's $9-million Disaster Recovery Program (DRP) is designed to cover uninsurable losses.

"If there's a combination of overland flooding and sewer backup, we would cover 50 per cent of that loss. But if it was strictly because of sewer backup, we would expect that insurance should cover that."

'Very stressful' 

But local resident Brenda Weisenburger said some homeowners are facing bills of $80,000, while insurance only covers a small portion of that.

"There's limits on insurance coverage for people… $15,000 or $30,000.  But when you've lost everything, and they're cutting out your walls and your basement, you know you've lost a lot more than that," Weisenburger said.

"It's very stressful and it makes it very difficult for families … especially right now when many people have lost their jobs as well," she added.

Chestermere resident Brenda Weisenburger says some homeowners are facing bills of $80,000, while insurance only covers a small portion of that. (CBC)

Last month, the province announced that it was making $9 million available to help residents of Chestermere and Langdon whose homes were damaged in last July's rainstorm.

Around 150 ml of rain fell in two hours, leaving nearly 300 homeowners with damage to their property.

Larivee said homeowners who apply would receive one-on-one support to ensure their claims are processed.

"The expectation is that residents would submit the information from their insurance company addressing what was covered and what wasn't, and then we will utilize that information in processing the claim to decide how much money will come out of that," she added.

The province is holding workshops in Rocky View County on Jan. 14 and Chestermere on Jan. 15-16 to help residents file their applications.

Homeowners have until March 16 to apply for compensation.

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