Burlington Flooding -- IBC Tips and Information

TORONTO, Aug. 5, 2014 /CNW/ - In response to flash flooding in Burlington, Ontario, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) reminds residents to contact their insurance representative. If they still have questions, they can contact IBC's Consumer Information Centre at 1-800-387-2880.

"IBC fully appreciates the significant toll severe weather events can have on families and communities," said Pete Karageorgos, IBC's Director, Consumer and Industry Relations, Ontario. "We want to help ensure the recovery goes as smoothly as possible for all affected residents."

It is important to note that damage as a result of sewer backup may be covered by home insurance policies but this coverage must be purchased as an add-on to a home insurance policy. 

Damage caused by overland flooding and ground seepage is not generally covered by home insurance policies in Canada. Overland flooding usually occurs when bodies of water, such as rivers, streams, lakes, dams and other watercourses, overflow onto dry land and cause damage.

Damage to vehicles from water is usually covered if comprehensive or all perils coverage auto insurance has been purchased. This coverage isn't mandatory, so check your policy.

Making a Claim: Starting the Process

Call your insurance representative and/or company

  • Most insurers have a 24-hour emergency 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 1-800-387-2880.

Prevent further damage

  • If it is safe to do so, start cleaning up and drying things out, and protect your property from further damage (e.g., board up holes and move items out of wet basements). Be sure to wear protective gear during the cleanup, such as sturdy boots, gloves, a face mask, etc. Speak with your insurance representative before making any non-urgent repairs.

List all damaged or destroyed items

  • If possible, assemble proofs of purchase, photos, receipts and warranties. Take photos of damaged property. Talk to your insurer before disposing of any damaged property.

Keep all receipts related to cleanup and living expenses

  • If you've been temporarily displaced, ask your insurance representative about what coverage you may be entitled to and the duration of this coverage. Review your policy to ensure you are familiar with specified deductibles, coverage limits and replacement values. Ask questions and talk to your insurance representative if anything is unclear – your representative is there to help you.

Making a Claim: Next Steps

  • Once you have reported a loss to your insurance representative, a claims adjuster will be assigned to you. There may be a delay given the number of people currently affected by the flooding, but you will be contacted as soon as possible.
  • A claims adjuster will contact you to document the circumstance of the loss, review the documents you provided and explain the next steps in the claims process. Don't be afraid to ask questions. Keep notes of the conversations.
  • Your insurance company may ask you to complete a "proof of loss" form, to list what property and items have been damaged or destroyed, with the corresponding value or cost of the damage or loss. Usually, the proof of loss must be completed and returned to your insurance company as soon as it is practical to do so. Again, ask your insurance representative or claims adjuster if something is unclear.

About Insurance Bureau of Canada

Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is pleased to celebrate 50 years as a valuable resource for insurance information. Since 1964, IBC has been working with governments across Canada to make our communities safer, championing issues that directly affect Canadians and the property and casualty (P&C) insurance industry. IBC is the national industry association representing Canada's private home, car and business insurers. Its member companies represent 90% of the P&C insurance market in Canada. The private P&C insurance industry employs over 118,600 Canadians, pays more than $7 billion in taxes and levies to the federal, provincial and municipal governments, and has a total premium base of $48 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: To schedule an interview, please contact: Celyeste Power, Manager, Media Relations, 416-362-2031 ext. 4312 (office), 647-384-9872 (after hours), cpower@ibc.ca