Water damage scenario: which one would you pick?

We all want an exciting life. But sometimes, simpler is better… especially when it comes to insurance!

Action-packed situations in the realm of insurance often result in claims, and we try to avoid them as much as we can. How? By listening to simple advice from a trusted insurer and using prevention to our advantage.

After all, simplicity is the best policy!

Discover a situation where two paths were offered, with very different sets of consequences.  

(for more prevention tips related to water damage, see our articles here and here)

Lucie lives in a condo in Old Strathcona, a neighbourhood in Edmonton. She lives alone and is not often home, as her work takes up a lot of her time and she has a busy social life. Tonight, she’ll have dinner with friends from university who she hasn’t seen for quite a while.

Scenario 1:

As usual, Lucie does everything at once and last minute. She puts a load in the washing machine, starts the dishwasher, puts the finishing touches on her makeup and goes out.

She returns home at 11:35 ready to go to bed right away so that she’s not too tired for work the next day. But something unexpected awaits her: there’s water everywhere. The downstairs neighbour come knocking: water is pouring down from the ceiling and within the walls.

She takes a deep breath and let’s it out slowly. She calls her insurer. She can’t very well sleep in a pool.

Lucky for her, her insurance company is open 24/7. They respond immediately give her guidance on immediate actions to take and offer to send over a team to help her out.

Her insurer had told her that a pipe can freeze (and burst) if the home isn’t warm enough; that if the water heater is over 14 years old, it should be replaced; that the washing machine and dishwasher hose connectors should be checked often… and to avoid having them active when she leaves the house.

Lucie feels guilty: she had been told all this before but hadn’t really taken these recommendations seriously. In her case, it’s the dishwasher hose that came disconnected, and since she wasn’t there to deal with the problem right away, the situation deteriorated quickly and costly repairs will be necessary to a few units in her building. She’s comforted by the fact that her insurance covers this type of damage.

She will no longer turn on the dishwasher or washing machine before leaving her place. Having clean dishes isn’t worth the trouble…

Scenario 2:

Lucie loads the washing machine and dishwasher but doesn’t turn them on: the wash cycles won’t be done before she leaves, and following her insurer’s advice, she doesn’t want to leave the machines running while she’s out. She puts the finishing touches on her makeup and goes out.

She comes back at 11:35. She starts the dishwasher and washing machine and gets ready to go to bed. She goes to grab a glass of water in the kitchen and is caught by surprise: there’s water on the floor.

Her first reaction is to stop the dishwasher then turn off the water. At the least the situation wasn’t any worse!

She grabs the mop and calls her insurer, who’s available 24/7. She notices that the dishwasher hose had come disconnected. Lucky she was home! Because she acted quickly, there’s nothing wiping the floor can’t fix. Her insurer gives her a few tips to put into action and offers to send somebody over to evaluate everything.

Lucie makes a last pass with the mop, sets-up a dehumidifier in the room, and goes to bed relieved. After all that, she’s happy she turned on the appliances only once she got home: she can’t imagine the damage if she’d done otherwise…


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