Atlantic Canadians get ready for hurricane season

Insurance Bureau of Canada releases Top 10 tips for hurricane preparedness

HALIFAX, June 1, 2016 /CNW/ - The beginning of June marks the approach of summer, and also the beginning of hurricane season for Atlantic Canada. To help ensure that everyone is prepared, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is reaching out to residents with tips and information.

"As we've seen in previous years, a hurricane can cause extensive damage regardless of its category," said Amanda Dean, Vice-President, Atlantic, IBC. "Hurricane winds can cause structural damage to buildings, as well as uproot trees and knock down power lines. Even a significantly weakened hurricane can carry winds strong enough to cause widespread destruction and upheaval."

IBC continues to offer Atlantic Canadians information and advice about coping with hurricanes, which commonly occur between the months of June and November, and other severe weather events which have been on the rise. Consumers can take steps now to ensure that they are properly covered and prepared before a storm hits.

IBC's Top 10 tips to prepare for a hurricane are:

  1. Create an emergency preparedness plan for your family.
  2. Assemble disaster safety kits for your home, car and office
  3. Secure any loose patio furniture and barbecues when a storm is on its way.
  4. Protect or move property that might be damaged by flying debris.
  5. Prepare a detailed home inventory.
  6. Charge handheld electronics and have back-up power sources available.
  7. Have someone check your property if you are away.
  8. Make sure downspouts are clear of debris and direct water away from your home.
  9. To protect against flooding caused by torrential rain, install a sump pump, backwater valve or backflow valve.
  10. Check with your insurance representative to make sure you have appropriate coverage.

IBC reminds consumers that while insurance policies differ from company to company, a home insurance policy may cover:

  • Wind-related damage caused by a hurricane
  • Damage to your house, shed or fence caused by a fallen tree
  • Damage from rain entering your house through a window that is broken or a roof that is damaged by a windstorm
  • Loss of fridge and freezer contents due to an extended power outage
  • Water damage from sewer backup, if you purchased sewer backup coverage.

If your property is damaged during a hurricane, it is important to document any damages and contact your insurance representative as soon as possible.

  • 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 be reimbursed for and for what period of time

It's also important to keep in mind that policies may have limitations and deductibles. Auto insurance typically covers flood damage and wind damage to your vehicle, such as a broken windshield from wind-borne debris, if you purchased comprehensive or all-risk coverage.

"Be sure to review your policy and speak to your insurance representative if you have questions about what you're covered for," said Dean. "Atlantic Canadians can also contact IBC's Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2ask-IBC. We're here to help."

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 120,000 Canadians, pays $8.2 billion in taxes and has a total premium base of $49 billion.  

For media releases and more information, visit IBC's Media Centre at www.ibc.ca. Follow IBC on Twitter @InsuranceBureau and @IBC_Atlantic 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

For further information: To schedule an interview, please contact: Ellen Woodger, Consultant, Media Relations, 416-483-2358, ellen.woodger@sympatico.ca

RELATED LINKS
http://www.ibc.ca

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