TD Insurance to cover sewer backup after flood victim anger

A major insurance company has suddenly changed its mind after weeks of denying damage claims to Alberta flood victims.

Many clients with flood-damaged homes still furious with company

Insurance anger

8 years ago
Duration 2:10
Calgary residents speak up about insurance concerns regarding recent flood claims. 2:10

A major insurance company has suddenly changed its mind after weeks of denying damage claims to Alberta flood victims.

TD Meloche Monnex Insurance now says it will pay out for sewer backup damage, but its clients are still furious with the company.

TD Insurance says it will be in contact with clients in the next couple of days after deciding to cover sewer backups. (Nathan Denette/Canadian Press)

"Recognizing the extent of the devastation and the hardship that many of our customers are experiencing as a result of the flooding, TDI will pay sewer backup losses from this event according to the endorsement and its limit," said the company on its website.

"TD’s insurance representatives will be reaching out to affected customers in the next few days."

Chris LeGeyt says it took three weeks to get an adjuster and just 20 minutes to be turned down.

"When he'd finished making the forms, he walked down to the basement himself, he took one look around and said, 'Well you're denied,'" said the Elbow Drive resident.

Others living along Elbow Drive say TD Insurance denied their claims over the phone without even sending an adjuster as they watched other insurance adjusters show up with cheque-cutting machines in hand.

But Premier Alison Redford said she spoke with the company, and it will now cover sewer backup losses.

"Spoke to TD CEO Ed Clark yesterday on #abflood insurance issue," the premier tweeted Monday. "Glad to see TD did the right thing tonight and will cover sewer backup."

But Geoff Jenkins, who also owns a home on Elbow Drive, is skeptical.

"Is there a guy called Jerry McGuire who says 'Show me the money.' My concern is that they might try to delay things and hope that we'll go away."

Market will decide, says minister

Even a payout now won't impress Bogdan Motoc from Sunnyside.

"Insurance is about trust," he said. "You have to have them with you when the event occurs, not after [public] pressure."

Motoc said it's extremely traumatic to get such curt responses over the phone denying coverage when he has been paying into his insurance policy for decades.

The Calgary residents says it's not just about their claims, but they are going public with their story to make sure all affected Albertans who are customers of TD Insurance are treated the same way.

Finance Minister Doug Horner he will not comment on policy decisions between individual insurance companies and clients. He said the government's role is to regulate to make sure there are no unfair business practices.

"I think the market will do what it needs to do in that situation," he said. 

"We've seen a lot of insurance companies that have been very responsive to the situation that we are seeing in southern Alberta, and I encourage all insurance companies to do the same." 

He said the province will only be covering non-insurable items for Alberta residents.

Horner said the government did change the regulations in 2012 so there would be more competition in the insurance industry in the province, and for more clarity in the policies, but he said that's currently in transition.