Insurance Bureau of Canada to homeowners under blackout: Stay safe, check your coverage

    TORONTO, Jan. 16 /CNW/ - With a large portion of Toronto experiencing a
major power failure, Insurance Bureau of Canada is urging homeowners to
contact their insurance professional to learn what sort of resulting losses
might be covered.
    "But the first priority should be to make sure that you and your family
are safe, and to take precautions to keep your property safe," said Don
Forgeron, Vice-President, Ontario, IBC. "It's important that homeowners
understand what they need to do to protect their property. If damage does
occur, they should find out what their insurance policy will cover."
    Homeowners should turn off the water supply to their home to prevent
pipes from bursting and avoid using candlelight, if possible. A flashlight is
a much safer alternative.
    Homeowners' and tenant insurance policies generally cover the cost of
food that has spoiled during a power failure, and the cost of damage due to
pipes freezing and bursting. Some policies may cover the cost of temporary
additional living expenses, such as hotel charges, if occupants have to vacate
their premises due to damage. However we advise individuals to check with
their insurance representatives as soon as possible to discuss the
    "Home insurance coverage varies from policy to policy. The safest bet is
to contact your insurance representative directly," said Forgeron.
    For general information, consumers can reach IBC's Consumer Information
Centre at 416-362-9528.

    Insurance Bureau of Canada is the national industry association
representing Canada's private home, car and business insurers. Its member
companies represent nearly 95% of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance
market in Canada. The P&C insurance industry employs over 110,000 Canadians,
pays more than $6 billion in taxes to the federal, provincial and municipal
governments, and has a total premium base of $38 billion.

For further information:

For further information: James Geuzebroek, (416) 362-2031 ext. 4364

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