Insurance Bureau of Canada urges Ontarians to protect themselves and their belongings from severe weather



    TORONTO, Aug. 4 /CNW/ - With many parts of Ontario under severe
thunderstorm and tornado warnings, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is urging
residents to protect themselves and their property.
    "Most importantly, all individuals should ensure the safety of themselves
and their loved ones," said Robert Tremblay, Director of Research, Insurance
Bureau of Canada. "There are a number of things that homeowners can do to
reduce the risks resulting from strong winds and heavy rain."
    Tremblay encouraged homeowners to move valuables stored in the basement
to a higher floor to protect them from flooding, especially in neighborhoods
with a history of sewer back-ups. He also urged individuals to bring
barbecues, patio furniture and other items inside the garage, or secure them
in some other way, so that high winds do not turn them into dangerous
projectiles.
    Home insurance policies generally cover damage due to wind and hail.
Coverage of flooding due to sewer back-up is often available as an add-on to
an existing policy. However, home insurance does not cover overland flooding.
    "Insurance works because the risks are spread among many policyholders,"
said Tremblay. "But only a small fraction of the population lives in a flood
plain where overland flooding is a risk. Because most homeowners aren't at
risk, it's not fair to ask them to pay for those who are. Unfortunately the
risk of flooding is so high for those living in flood plains that coverage
would be unaffordable for them."
    Homeowners should contact their insurance professional as soon as
possible to verify what coverage they have. For more general questions
pertaining to insurance they can contact the IBC Consumer Information Line at
1-800-387-2880 or visit www.ibc.ca.

    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.
    To view news releases and information, visit the media section of IBC's
website at www.ibc.ca.





For further information:

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


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