July 22, 2019

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They're testing the waters

Flood insurance now available for cottage owners in Manitoba

WAYNE GLOWACKI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS files</p><p>Keith Dixon’s flooded boathouse and dock are seen by his cottage along Caddy Lake recently. Insurance premiums will depends on risk and history of losses.</p>

WAYNE GLOWACKI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS files

Keith Dixon’s flooded boathouse and dock are seen by his cottage along Caddy Lake recently. Insurance premiums will depends on risk and history of losses.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 4/7/2016 (1113 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Whiteshell cottagers take notice — insurance against overland flooding is now available.

Aviva Canada’s western vice-president, Mark Rouleau, said from Alberta Monday afternoon his company became the first in the country to offer overland flooding insurance in December.

“It’s available for secondary and seasonal homeowners that qualify,” and covers damage from downpours as well as rivers and lakes that spill their banks, Rouleau said.

“It’s intended to pick up a gap,” he said.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 4/7/2016 (1113 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Whiteshell cottagers take notice — insurance against overland flooding is now available.

Aviva Canada’s western vice-president, Mark Rouleau, said from Alberta Monday afternoon his company became the first in the country to offer overland flooding insurance in December.

"It’s available for secondary and seasonal homeowners that qualify," and covers damage from downpours as well as rivers and lakes that spill their banks, Rouleau said.

"It’s intended to pick up a gap," he said.

Premiums would vary depending on risk and history of losses, Rouleau said. "It really varies by the zone the risk is located in."

Cottagers may learn about it when their annual renewals come, he said, but they can also seek out coverage through their insurance agents. Rouleau could not say Monday how many Whiteshell cottagers or permanent homeowners have the policy.

"There’s a lot of summer left. We’ve had crazy thunderstorms here," said Rouleau, who pointed out sudden massive downpours are not uncommon on the prairies.

"Up until recently, overland flood insurance was not available in Manitoba," Erin Pearson, executive director of the Insurance Council of Manitoba, said Monday.

The rising water level of a lake would be part of the definition of overland flooding, but coverage would not be automatic, said Pearson, whose organization regulates agents and brokers.

"It is subject to certain conditions," she said, including the area in which a property is located, elevation, and any history of loss.

Aviva Canada was the first to offer overland flooding insurance, she said. In a competitive marketplace, "We may see more companies in the future," Pearson said.

The provincial department of sustainable development said last month the province cannot apply for federal disaster relief until waters have receded sufficiently to assess damage. However, the province doubted Ottawa would cover a secondary residence, and did not speculate whether a primary residence could get federal cash.

Provincial officials could not say Monday when floodwaters might recede enough to reopen flooded roads, especially portions of Highway 44 and Provincial Road 312 from 44 to the Ontario border.

"Water will recede at its own pace. Repairs will follow once safe to do so. Officials are waiting for the water to recede in many areas before repairs can begin. It is too early to provide cost estimates until the full extent of the damage is revealed by receding water," the province said by email.

A number of regional roads in West Hawk, Falcon Lake and the Whiteshell remain flooded or damaged:

• PR 312 from the junction of PTH 44 to the Ontario border remains closed;

• temporary repairs have been made to the Falcon Lake South Shore Road, allowing for single-lane traffic to pass, and staff are directing traffic through the road, asking people to drive with caution;

• PR 307 in the north Whiteshell area reopened July 1 between Brereton Lake and Rennie;

• other roads in the south Whiteshell area have also been affected and could deteriorate quickly, and driving with caution is advised;

• Caddy Lake tunnels are closed.

nick.martin@freepress.mb.ca

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