A Calgary company is offering something that isn't available anywhere else in Canada.
Overland flood insurance covers damage caused by water entering a home through doors and windows. While it is available for businesses, the insurance industry has determined it is not viable for homes.
Now Calgary-based Beaufort Group, an independent risk management and insurance broker, is testing the waters.
CEO Dougal Simpson says he felt he had to do something after helping friends and family through the devastation of the 2013 flood.
'A need that we absolutely have'
"I don’t think necessarily for us it is a good business opportunity, but it’s a need that we absolutely have," Simpson said.
Beaufort Group approached Lloyd's of London, an international insurance market known for insuring unusual items like legs, teeth and hair of celebrities.
A team was assembled and has spent the last year working out the details.
The policies were made available just in time for the 2014 flood season in Calgary.
Premiums and deductibles vary widely
In order to manage the risk, the Lloyd's policy is only being offered in Calgary, and it is only available to a limited number of households.
It only applies to overland flood damage and must be purchased in addition to regular home insurance.
Premiums and deductibles vary widely, and are based on several factors including previous water damage, the value of the home and its proximity to the river.
Quotes are free on the company’s website.
Calgarians buy in
Roxboro resident Tom Brodzinski was one of the first Calgarians to buy a policy.
He says repairs to his home, which was badly damaged in the flood, are costing him $400,000 out of pocket.
He says his premium is $9,000 a year, but it’s still the best option he could find.
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"I did the math and to do my own mitigation, like building concrete fences and acquiring dams, I would be looking at $50,000 to $60,000," he said.
"So this covers this policy for five or six years and in that time frame I'm hoping the upstream mitigation will be done so we're not going to have this issue facing us any longer."
Other homeowners interested
Brodzinski says he personally knows seven or eight other homeowners in Roxboro, Rideau and Bowness who have bought the Lloyd's overland flood insurance.
He has heard that quotes for coverage have varied from $5,000 to $18,000.
He admits that those numbers are substantial, but after what his family has been through over the last year, Brodzinski says it’s worth every penny.
"Going into this flood season, it's definitely a peace of mind."
The overland flood policies are only available until June 9.