Winter Storm Warning for Atlantic Canada -- what you need to know about your home and auto insurance

HALIFAX, Dec. 22, 2013 /CNW/ - A winter storm is rolling in to Atlantic Canada and the storm has already caused serious problems in Ontario with downed trees and power lines and icy roads.

Amanda Dean, IBC Vice-President, Atlantic Canada says, "We have seen many serious storms in 2013 that have caused a great deal of damage right across Canada. If you suffer damages from today's events, when it is safe to do so, it is important to assess and document any potential damages you need to report to your insurance representative. If you have to go out in the storm be sure to watch for downed power lines. Report any downed lines to your power company."

Starting the process

Call your insurance representative and/or company. Most insurers have 24-hour claims service. Be as detailed as possible when providing information. If you need help getting in touch with your insurer, contact IBC's Consumer Information Centre at 1-800-565-7189. Ext: 228.

Some tips for outside your home:

  • Keep your sidewalk and the front stairs of your house clear of snow and ice to prevent falls and injuries.
  • Keep snow and ice clear of gas or propane meters, exhaust vents and basement windows.
  • Water frozen in pipes can cause your pipes to break at their weakest point. To prevent freezing, fit exposed pipes with insulation sleeves or wrapping.
  • If you need to drive, make sure all snow and ice is cleared from your vehicle.

Are you covered?

  • Damage to homes caused by snow, rain or wind is generally covered. This includes damage caused by flying debris or falling branches or trees, or damage to your home and its contents when water or snow enters through openings caused by high winds.
  • Damage to mobile homes or trailers may be covered from wind damage, policy wordings vary so it's best to check with your insurance representative.
  • Damage to cars from ice, wind or water is typically covered if you have comprehensive or all-perils car insurance. This coverage isn't mandatory so check your policy.
  • In certain circumstances, homeowners who are unable to live in their homes because of insurable damage are entitled to additional living expenses. Ask your insurance representative for more information.

About Insurance Bureau of Canada

Insurance Bureau of Canada is the national industry association representing Canada's private home, car and business insurers. Its member companies represent 90% of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance market in Canada. The P&C insurance industry employs over 118,600 Canadians, pays more than $7 billion in taxes to the federal, provincial and municipal governments, and has a total premium base of $46 billion.

To view media releases and other information, visit the media section of IBC's website at www.ibc.ca. Follow IBC on Twitter @InsuranceBureau or like us on Facebook.

If you require more information, IBC spokespeople are available to discuss the details in this media release.

SOURCE Insurance Bureau of Canada

For further information:

Steve Kee
Director, Media Relations
Insurance Bureau of Canada
416-362-2031 X-4387
416-841-5669
skee@ibc.ca