Aviva Canada Customer Care Team Helping Greater Toronto Area Storm Customers

TORONTO, July 9, 2013 /CNW/ - Following last night's severe weather in Toronto and the surrounding area, Aviva Canada, one of the country's leading providers of home, auto, recreational vehicle, group and business insurance, is advising customers on how to start the claim process and stay safe.

Area residents with an Aviva Insurance Company of Canada, Elite Insurance Company or Traders General Insurance Company policy that have experienced property damage are asked to contact Aviva as soon as possible. Because of call volumes, the best way to initiate a claim right now is through your insurance broker or via email to carecentre_ont@avivacanada.com. Our toll free number remains 1 866 MY AVIVA (1 866 692 8482). Although we strive for an immediate response, at times like this with exceptional volume, responding to a claim can take upwards of 24 hours or more.

However, with any kind of storm damage, safety comes first. "We ask that residents use a lot of caution in and around their property after a storm." said Property Claims Vice President Wayne Ross. "With water damage, it's best to wait for water levels to subside before emergency repairs can be done. Fallen or compromised tree limbs can also be quite dangerous and actually cause more damage if not properly removed."

Safety First

There are several other preliminary actions you may take before your insurance adjuster arrives. First and foremost, ensure the area where the sewer backup occurred is safe to enter because:

  • Water damage may seriously weaken wall and ceiling structures.
  • You could be exposed to highly contaminated water with disease or bacteria from raw sewage and other pollutants.
  • Water may affect electrical and gas systems including related appliances, creating the possibility of serious electrical shock or explosion.
  • If in doubt about your safety to perform any actions within your home, contact your local authorities.

Actions

  • If necessary and it is safe to do so, turn off your electricity, natural gas supply, furnace or air conditioner and water main, and stay away from electrical equipment.
  • Take photos of the damage caused by the flooding - include pictures of the water's entry point.
  • Be careful while cleaning up, wear gloves and dress appropriately - remember the water may be contaminated.
  • Move as much furniture and other property as possible to a dry area.
  • Throw out any fresh, packaged or frozen foods and personal hygiene products which may have been affected by the water.
  • Make a list of all damaged property and note which property is permanently damaged and unusable.
  • Keep any damaged property so claims adjusters may inspect it before having it removed.

What to expect in the coming days:

  • If they have not already, residents should contact their insurer and/or insurance broker who will assess their claim. This is done to prioritize the damages of those most adversely affected.
  • Damages covered by your insurance policy will be quantified through a visit with an adjuster and arrangements will be made to complete repairs and replace damaged property.
  • Adjusters and contractors will move to complete the emergency repairs to minimize further damages and to make damaged homes habitable.

It is important for homeowners to be aware that overland flooding is not covered by home insurance policies anywhere in Canada as it is a risk for only a small amount of the population. Sewer Backup coverage is widely covered in home insurance policies either as a standard inclusion or an add-on.

More information can be found in a press release issued by the Insurance Bureau of Canada.

About Aviva Canada

Aviva Canada is one of the leading Property and Casualty insurance groups in Canada providing home, automobile, recreational vehicle, group and business insurance to more than three million customers. A wholly-owned subsidiary of UK-based Aviva plc, the company has more than 3,000 employees, 25 locations and 1,700 independent broker partners. Aviva Canada and its employees invest in positive change including through the Aviva Community Fund and Eva's Initiatives, its partner in Aviva's global Street to School program to help homeless and other at-risk youth reach their potential.

For more information visit AvivaCanada.com, our blog or our Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn pages.

SOURCE: Aviva Canada Inc.

For further information:

Media Contact: 
Cynthia Gardner
Senior Manager, Corporate Affairs
Aviva Canada Inc.
Desk: (416) 701-4150, Mobile: (416) 435-9325
cynthia_gardner@avivacanada.com


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