The Unluckys and the sewer back-up

May is a special month at SGI CANADA. We’re telling the story of one family, the Unluckys, as they go through a series of unfortunate events at various stages in their lives. Every week, we’ll present a new chapter in the story, showing how insurance was able to help the family overcome the common situations that came their way.


Chapter One: Meet the Unluckys

Clark and Ellen Unlucky live in a small community in rural Canada. They met in university and married soon after graduation. A hardworking couple, they’re trying to balance work, life and family, while saving money for their future. They have good jobs, but like most people, every dollar is important. After the bills are paid, there’s not much left over at the end of the month.

A bigger house

Our story starts when Clark and Ellen were first married. After graduation, they bought a starter home – a little bungalow with 2 bedrooms and small backyard. It served them well for a few years, but then the kids came along and the place started to feel small.

With the future in mind, Clark and Ellen began house hunting. After a short search, they found a beautiful 1960s two-storey with a finished basement, including a kitchen suite and rec room. It was perfect for their growing family.

The Unluckys knew they needed house insurance, but they didn’t know much about the products, so they contacted a broker for help.

Insuring for water damage

On top of their regular SGI CANADA policy, the broker advised adding on Water Protection Coverage to protect against water-related damage in an older neighbourhood. The broker showed them research demonstrating that there are now more water-related insurance claim payouts than any other type of loss, including fire and hail. Cleaning up from a water-related claim can cost tens of thousands of dollars.

The broker told the Unluckys they could buy Sewer Back-Up Coverage on its own, but it was only designed to cover sewer back-ups. Water Protection covered flood, surface water, ground water and sewer back-ups. Clark and Ellen agreed to add Sewer Back-Up Coverage, but didn’t think they would need Water Protection because their yard grading was in good shape.

Their broker explained that yard grading won’t prevent every problem. In a torrential downpour, water can pool in unexpected places. The Unluckys took their broker’s advice and added on the coverage.

The rainstorm

Then came a stormy night in May, when a deluge of rain overwhelmed the city’s sewer system, causing 3 inches of smelly water to back up into the Unluckys’ basement. The couple filed a sewer back-up claim and an adjuster came to assess the damage. She found water had also entered the home through a basement window, from a pool of water in the yard between the home and the neighbour’s property. The adjuster told the couple that it was a good thing they had Water Protection Coverage, because surface water came into the home at the same time as the sewer back-up. They needed Water Protection to cover the loss – which came in at more than $35,000.

The Unluckys were relieved they had taken their broker’s advice. For only a little extra a month, the cost of their basement repairs was taken care of.

Stay tuned for the next chapter in the story of Clark and Ellen Unlucky – coming May 14.

Support when you need it most

As many of us know firsthand, life comes with unexpected twists and turns – but fortunately, you don’t have to handle these things alone. Insurance coverage can be a safety net for you and your family at every stage of your lives. Your SGI CANADA broker can help you prepare for the future. Contact them today to protect what matters to you.

SOURCE: SGI Canada ( )