Claims and Possible Cause of Loss

There are many causes of property loss or personal injury. Incidents that could be faced by City residents may include the following:

Sewer & Drain Backups

The most common causes of sewer and drain backups:

  • Putting items down the drain that should be placed into the garbage
  • Invasive tree roots
  • Pipe problems
  • Storms
  • Vandalism

It is the Homeowner’s responsibility to determine where a blockage in the system is located, regardless if it is on private or public property. If you are experiencing a backup, a plumber should be called to determine the location of the blockage. If it is determined that the blockage is on City property, the Public Works Division should then immediately be contacted and the plumber should stay on site.

If there is damage to your property, the City recommends you call your insurer.

Water Main Breaks

Water mains run underneath the roadway and supply fresh water to the private services connected to it. The private service, from the property line to the personal residence or business, is the responsibility of the owner of that property.

If there is water gushing out onto the street, a water main or water pipe has probably been broken. Please contact the Public Works Division immediately at 604.927.5496 or at the after-hours emergency number 604.543.6700.

If there is a water leak at the meter box, please call Public Works, who will then attend and advise whether the leak is on public or private property.

If there is damage to your property, the City recommends you call your Insurer.

Homeowner Responsibilities

The Homeowner is responsible for taking the first steps to minimize any damage to personal property (i.e. remove undamaged items from the area to prevent damages).

The City recommends you notify your Insurer (Homeowner or Rental Policy) or Insurance Broker of the damage as soon as possible to determine if your policy provides coverage for the damage.

Take immediate steps, through your own resources or those of your Insurer, to remove excess water or sewage as soon as possible. Sewage presents special health considerations so you may need professional assistance. Damage restoration firms are listed in the phone directory.
Try to record or preserve all relevant evidence.  Where possible, take photos of the hazard that caused your loss.  Record the names and contact information of any witnesses that might have important information to support your claim.
Common sense will dictate most other actions. Remember that electricity and water can prove fatal. BE CAREFUL

Potholes & Road Hazards

If you have damaged your vehicle because of a pothole or hazard in the roadway:

  • See a licensed motor vehicle mechanic.
  • Do not continue to drive your vehicle if it is not operating properly.
  • Note the exact location of the pothole or hazard and report it to Public Works Division at 604.927.5496 or by email at so that they can take steps to fix the road.
  • Notify your automobile insurance provider as there may be coverage for this type of loss.
  • If safe to do so, we recommend that you take a photo of the pothole.

Note: The law in British Columbia does not make a municipality, including the City of Port Coquitlam, legally responsible to ensure that its roads are always free of defects or hazards, such as potholes. Section 744 of the Local Government Act,R.S.B.C. 2015, c.1 provides that a municipality is not legally liable in nuisance for damages that arise from a breakdown in a road. The municipality must be negligent in its maintenance of roads for it be liable. The City cannot entertain claims for compensation in a case where there is an absence of negligence.

Trips, Slips & Falls

If you have been injured as a result of a slip, trip or fall you should seek medical attention.

Notify the City, or the private property owner, so that the area of the fall may be inspected and any potential hazard dealt with. Please be as precise as possible in identifying the location, pictures are helpful if available. Locations on City property can be reported to 604.927.5496 or by email at

Your extended health insurance may have coverage to assist you in your rehabilitation. If you were working when you sustained your injury you should report the injury to your employer. WorkSafeBC should be notified as they may also assist you.

Fallen Trees

If the tree is resting on utility wires, contact the local fire department or utility company for assistance. Do not attempt to dislodge or remove the tree on your own.

If there is damage to your property, the City recommends you call your insurer.


City of Port Coquitlam
Insurance & Claims – Purchasing Division
1737 Broadway Street
Port Coquitlam, BC V3C 2M9

Claims: 604.927.5232
Public Works: 604.927.5496
After House Emergency: 604.543.6700

Business Hours
7:00 am to 3:30 pm, Monday to Friday (excluding statutory holidays)