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Sewer backup coverage limits planned


Local residents may see changes on their insurance policies this spring as the industry is looking to limit coverage for sewer backup in Northwestern Ontario.

“There was an industry release about a week ago addressing this. It doesn’t surprise me,” said Duane Cridland, manager of Gillons’ Insurance here.

“Northwestern Ontario has been hit pretty hard with, I guess we could call it ‘goofy weather,’ over the past few summers,” he noted. “And the insurers are paying more into the pot than they’re getting out of it.”

Cridland admitted he still doesn’t know too much about the proposed changes, referring to them as a “probability” at this point.

“There has been some initial discussions with our companies,” he said, adding he’s going to a meeting in Winnipeg shortly to discuss the matter.

But he also stressed there’s no guarantee local residents will suffer reduced coverage or rate hikes, nor how many companies will participate.

“We’re not sure what’s going to happen yet. It’s geared towards Northwestern Ontario, not necessarily Fort Frances,” said Cridland. “But unfortunately, Fort Frances has been hit pretty hard in the past four or five years.”

A representative from Sunset Insurance Brokers said while he hasn’t heard of such changes, companies have always determined the coverage based on a property’s location and history of sewer backup.

“You may or may not get coverage depending on the company. There’s no definite answers, it’s the vaguest thing,” he remarked.

“It’s on a case-by-case basis.”

Causeway Insurance reported they hadn’t heard of any new policies regarding limited coverage for sewer backup. Larry Cousineau of Cousineau Brokers was not available for comment before press time.

Neither the Canadian Association for Insurance & Financial Advisors nor the Insurance Board of Canada were able to provide any information on the matter.

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