EDMONTON, June 1, 2015 /CNW/ - The beginning of June marks the start of hail season, which generally runs until September in the Prairie provinces. Severe storms with hail, lightning, strong winds and heavy rain are unpredictable and can strike quickly with devastating results. Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) reminds residents to be aware and take action to prepare for potentially damaging storms.
"Once again during last year's hail season, many residents saw the damaging effects of hail. Especially in Southern Alberta, where payouts following an August 6-7 hail storm reached approximately $560 million," said Bill Adams, Vice-President, Western and Pacific, IBC. "Given that severe weather events have been on the rise in Western Canada and across the country, it is vital for people to take steps to protect their families, properties and vehicles."
Talk to your insurance representative to make sure you have appropriate coverage.
- Damage to homes caused by hail or wind is usually covered under most home insurance policies. This includes damage caused by flying debris or falling branches or trees, or damage to your home and contents from water entering through openings caused by wind or hail. Obviously, pre-existing damage is not covered.
- Damage to vehicles from wind, hail or water is usually covered if you have purchased comprehensive or all perils auto insurance. This coverage isn't mandatory, so check your policy.
- Damage to mobile homes or trailers from hail or wind may be covered. Policy wordings vary so it's best to check with your insurance representative.
IBC 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 and coverage limits. Talk to your insurance representative if anything is unclear.
"Be sure to speak with your insurance representative before a severe storm strikes to make sure your policies are up to date and serve your particular needs. For further information about home, car and commercial insurance, contact IBC's Consumer Information Centre at 1‑844-2ask-IBC. We're here to help," added Adams.
About Insurance Bureau of Canada
Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is the national industry association representing Canada's private home, auto and business insurers. Its member companies make up 90% of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance market in Canada. For more than 50 years, IBC has worked with governments across the country to help make affordable home, auto and business insurance available for all Canadians. IBC supports the vision of consumers and governments trusting, valuing and supporting the private P&C insurance industry. It champions key issues and helps educate consumers on how best to protect their homes, cars, businesses and properties.
P&C insurance touches the lives of nearly every Canadian and plays a critical role in keeping businesses safe and the Canadian economy strong. It employs more than 118,000 Canadians, pays $6.7 billion in taxes and has a total premium base of $48 billion.
For media releases and more information, visit IBC's Media Centre at www.ibc.ca. Follow IBC on Twitter @InsuranceBureau and @IBC_West or like us on Facebook. If you have a question about home, auto or business insurance, contact IBC's Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2ask-IBC.
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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