A Note to Chieftain Clients:

You may have recently received documents from Chieftain, with a price increase and what looks like a coverage change for sewer back up on your home policy. The change is less impactful than it might appear to be (especially for the majority of our Chieftain clients who live in the Burlington/Oakville area).

Part of the puzzle when companies generate home insurance pricing is territory. I.e. if you are in an area that gets lots of rain and the sloping of land does not drain this water well, or there are major rivers or bodies of water around you that could overflow, this territory will be expensive for sewer back up coverage. Just the same as if statistically, lots of robberies happen in your area, the premium for theft coverage will be higher in your area.

Chieftain has just completed some ‘remapping’ of their territories with the most recent data they have available. With this remapping, some areas that were cheap for sewer back up (SBU), are now more expensive for the coverage. This is where a lot of pricing changes are coming from.  It isn’t necessarily that your coverage has changed; it is that the same coverage is now more expensive to have.  When you look at your policy documents, beside ‘sewer back up’ it probably says ‘included’. This means there is not a limit of $25k to $100k.  Other policies will have a dollar amount by sewer back up, indicating that this coverage is limited.

Another important point is the change to the ‘wordings’ of your policy; Chieftain has now excluded sewer back up claims caused by flood. This is not new.  Flood is very specifically defined as  the overflowing of lakes or rivers.  Where there was a grey area, was the fact that sewer back up is covered, but flood isn’t; what happens if the sewer back up was caused by a flood? It used to be a discretionary decision, and now it is cut and dry (no pun intended). SBU caused by flood is not covered.  The majority of SBU claims caused by flood were not covered anyway, but it was never in writing that it was excluded. Chieftain has made this update in writing only, it has already been so in practice.

The bright side? As a Chieftain client you have been an elite group of insureds and have benefited from superior coverage and lower rates than any other insurance company could offer you. Moving forward, even with the price increase the vast majority of Chieftain clients are still receiving more coverage less cost when compared to other insurance providers.

As always, call us if you have any additional concerns or questions. Informed clients are the best kind of clients!