VANCOUVER, July 24, 2014 /CNW/ - In response to serious flooding in the city of Kamloops, BC, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) encourages residents to stay safe and offers the following advice to help make filing and managing insurance claims as straightforward as possible.
It is important to note that damage as a result of sewer backup may be covered by home insurance policies but this coverage must be purchased as an add-on.
Damage caused by overland flooding and ground seepage is not generally covered by home insurance policies in Canada. Overland flooding usually occurs when bodies of water, such as rivers, dams and other watercourses, overflow onto dry land and cause damage.
"Right now, safety is the prime concern," said Bill Adams, IBC's Vice-President, Western and Pacific. "If residents have questions about their insurance coverage, they should contact their insurance representative. Anyone with questions regarding their home or business insurance can also contact IBC's Consumer Information Centre at 1-877-772-3777 ext. 222 or visit ibc.ca. We're here to help."
Making a Claim: Starting the Process
Call your insurance representative and/or company
- Most insurers have a 24-hour emergency claims service. Be as detailed as possible when providing information. If you need help getting in touch with your insurer, contact IBC's Consumer Information Centre at 1-877-772-3777 ext. 222.
Prevent further damage
- If it is safe to do so, start cleaning up and drying things out, and protect your property from further damage (e.g., board up holes and move items out of wet basements). Be sure to wear protective clothing during the cleanup, such as sturdy boots, gloves, a face mask, etc. Speak with your insurance representative before making any non-urgent repairs.
List all damaged or destroyed items
- If possible, assemble proofs of purchase, photos, receipts and warranties. Take photos of damaged property. Talk to your insurer before disposing of any damaged property.
Keep all receipts related to cleanup and living expenses
- If you've been temporarily displaced, ask your insurance representative about what coverage you may be entitled to and the duration of this coverage. Review your policy to ensure you are familiar with specified deductibles, coverage limits and replacement values. Ask questions and talk to your insurance representative if anything is unclear – your representative is there to help you.
Making a Claim: Next Steps
- Once you have reported a loss to your insurance representative,a claims adjuster will be assigned to you. There may be a delay given the number of people currently affected by the flooding, but you will be contacted as soon as possible.
- A claims adjuster will contact you to document the circumstance of the loss, review the documents you provided and explain the next steps in the claims process. Don't be afraid to ask questions. Keep notes of the conversations.
- Your insurance company will ask you to complete a "proof of loss" form, to list what property and items have been damaged or destroyed, with the corresponding value or cost of the damage or loss. Usually, the proof of loss must be completed and returned to your insurance company within 30 days. Again, ask your insurance representative or claims adjuster if something is unclear.
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 and levies 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 www.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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