After Windsor flood, residents learn they don't have insurance

Homeowners need to know their insurance policies to ensure they have the right coverage, says insurance expert.

Some residents may not have access to sewer backup coverage, if they live in flood-prone areas

Don Jamieson of Tecumseh said he and several of his neighbours were shocked to learn they no longer have flood coverage from their insurance provider. Hundreds of residents in Tecumseh and Windsor have flooded basements after Thursday's record-breaking rainfall. (Meg Roberts/CBC)

After record-setting rain drenched Windsor and Tecumseh, Ont. this week, many residents were surprised to learn damages to their homes were not covered by their insurance providers.

Don Jamieson lives near the Blue Heron Bridge, which was still almost completely under water Friday afternoon.

He and several of his neighbours found out they had no insurance coverage for the backed up water that destroyed parts of their homes.

"It's shocking. You make sure you make those payments every single month and you pay diligently, knowing you have this protection," he said. "Then when you go to apply for the protection...you find out you don't have it."

Homeowners need to know their policies to ensure they have the right coverage, explained Anne Marie Thomas of insurancehotline.com.

Some residents may not have access to sewer backup coverage, if they live in low-lying or flood-prone areas. In those cases, insurance companies will require people to have preventative equipment, like sump pumps.

Residents on Orchard Park Drive pump water out of their basement after Thursday's widespread flooding in the Windsor region. (Jason Viau/CBC)

Insurance customers also need to know the difference between flood and sewer backup coverage, Thomas said. Damage from severe rain incidents, like the one seen in the Windsor region, falls under sewer backup coverage.

Flood insurance refers to natural disasters, such as large bodies of water flooding a community.

"It's not water that came over the Detroit River or something like that, it was because the sewers couldn't handle the volume and it backed up into the streets," Thomas said.