HALIFAX, June 2, 2014 /CNW/ - Hurricane season has begun and lasts until November 30. Although forecasters in the U.S. are predicting a "near-normal or below-normal" hurricane season for the Atlantic coast this year, there is still the potential for up to 13 tropical storms. What do you need to know about your insurance to be prepared?
Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) reminds consumers that damage caused by these types of events is normally covered by home insurance policies, with the exception of overland flooding. However, if your property is damaged, it is important to document any damages and check with your insurance representative as soon as possible.
Amanda Dean, IBC Vice-President, Atlantic, says, "In recent years, storms have caused a great deal of damage in our region as well as across Canada. Severe weather is the new normal for Canadians. But consumers can take steps to ensure now that they are properly covered and prepared before any storm hits."
IBC has created a video, available at ibc.ca, about emergency preparedness in the event of hurricanes.
Are you covered?
- Damage to homes caused by rain or wind is generally covered. This includes damage caused by flying debris or falling branches or trees, or damage to your home when water enters through openings caused by high winds.
- Damage to mobile homes or trailers from wind may be covered. Policy wordings vary, so it's best to check with your insurance representative.
- Damage to cars from 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 general, overland flooding is not covered by home insurance. Damage caused by water is generally only covered in certain specific circumstances (for example, if the damage is caused by a sudden and accidental release from a water main or indoor plumbing).
- Water damage from a sewer backup is covered only if you have sewer backup coverage.
- 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.
Tips for starting the claims process
- Call your insurance representative or company. Most insurers have a 24-hour claims service. Be as detailed as possible when providing information.
- List all damaged or destroyed items. If possible, assemble proofs of purchase, photos, receipts and warranties. Take photos of damage incurred and keep damaged items, unless they pose a health hazard.
- Keep all receipts related to cleanup and living expenses if you've been displaced. Ask your insurance representative about what expenses you're entitled to and for what period of time.
- Review your policy to ensure you are familiar with specified deductibles, coverage limits and replacement values. Talk to your insurance representative if anything is unclear.
If you need help getting in touch with your insurer, contact IBC's Consumer Information Centre at 1-800-565-7189, ext. 228.
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 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 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
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