Richmond home flooded with sewers, but Metro, insurer refuses compensation


The house was inundated with two to three feet of sewage, severely damaging the ground floor

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In torrential downpours on November 15, a metro Vancouver sewer line burst and flooded Imran Akhtar’s home in Richmond with sewage.

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“It started at 8:15 am and at 8:30 am-8:40 am the water started entering our house,” he said.

“Because the water flow was so high and it was raining, everything was overflowing. Rainwater and sewage entered our house through the driveway. He filled the house (with) two to three feet of water.

Akhtar has spent $ 60,000 to $ 70,000 so far to clean up the mess, and fears the bill may reach $ 100,000.

“We had to call for help to suck up the water with a pump,” he said.

Her insurance company rejected her claim and Metro Vancouver said it would not cover its costs either.

Akhtar said he has a “full” insurance package with Intact Insurance, as well as “enhanced” water coverage.

“I was never told that this policy or this coverage did not include flooding on the land,” he said. He said he felt since he was “paying premium money, extra money, for improved water coverage,” he was covered. “But, that still doesn’t cover him.”

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Imran Akhtar and his wife Hazra Imran at their home in Richmond, British Columbia, which was flooded several weeks ago due to a burst sewer line in Metro Vancouver.  Their insurance has declined coverage and Metro Vancouver says it will not cover the costs.
Imran Akhtar and his wife Hazra Imran at their home in Richmond, British Columbia, which was flooded several weeks ago due to a burst sewer line in Metro Vancouver. Their insurance declined coverage and Metro Vancouver says it will not cover the costs. Photo by Jason Payne /PNG

In an email, Kate Moseley-Williams of Intact Insurance said the company “provides coverage for a wide variety of water-related claims.”

“Customers eligible for surface water coverage are covered for damage or sewer backups caused by flooding and for water entering the home at or above the ground surface,” for example through a basement door or window.

“We encourage clients to carefully review their policy and contact their broker or us if they have any questions about their coverage. “

Don Bradley of Metro Vancouver said in an email “we are unable to discuss the details given the possibility of future litigation.”

But he said that “we can confirm that a sanitary sewer overflow occurred on November 14 and 15 at the intersection of Blundell and Gilbert Road due to the unprecedented precipitation with the intensity of a storm of. 50 years.

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“The runoff that was directed into the sewer system exceeded its capacity, causing the main sewer to fail at the maintenance hole. “

Bradley said “After reviewing the insurer’s denial of claim, we have provided additional information and encouraged the homeowner to resubmit their claim for insurance coverage. The initial request appears to have been rejected on the basis of incomplete information. We sincerely hope and hope that the insurance company will provide the appropriate compensation for the damages. “

He said that “in accordance with section 744 of the Local Government Act, Metro Vancouver cannot be held liable for any nuisance damage resulting from the breakdown or malfunction of a sewage system.”

Akhtar said he resubmitted his insurance application on Friday, but did not yet have a response from Intact Insurance.

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After spending a few days with friends in North Vancouver, he is relocated upstairs to his home with his wife and two children.

“It was difficult for the kids to go to school in Richmond (living in North Van) so we eventually had to come back and start living upstairs,” he said. “We live upstairs but construction continues on the main level.”

He said his family will have to replace the kitchen, bathroom and all the furniture on the first floor. And then there is the damage in the yard.

“The land is quite large – we have 9,000 square feet of land,” he said. “Imagine if a 9,000 square foot lot is filled with sewage, two to three feet. “

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