Insurers urge Manitoba residents to check insurance coverage following
intense rainstorms

WINNIPEG, June 2 /CNW/ - Canada's home, car and business insurers urge residents affected by intense rain that fell over the weekend in the Winnipeg area to check their homeowner's policy and contact their insurance representative as soon as possible.

"If you purchased sewer backup coverage, damage caused by this type of flooding will be covered by home insurance," said Lindsay Olson, Vice-President, British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC). "Water damage from overland flooding, however, is generally not covered by insurance."

Severe rainstorms hammered the area over the weekend, leaving many residents with flooded basements.

"If you've experienced property damage as a result of the storms, you should discuss your coverage and any deductibles with your insurance professional as soon as possible," added Olson. "Once it's determined that coverage is available, your insurer will assign an adjuster to assess the damage and start the repair and replacement process."

In addition, homeowners should take steps to protect their property from further damage. They can board up holes or shut off water supplies to ensure their belongings are not damaged more than they have been. They should also move items out of wet basements and away from other flooded parts of the home, and save receipts for materials used for repairs.

When cleaning up after a flood:

    
    -   Do not turn on any electrical switches until your electrical system
        has been checked.
    -   Turn off your main switch by standing on a dry surface and using a
        piece of heavy rubber, plastic or dry wood.
    -   If you have gas service, check for fumes. If you notice an odour,
        call the gas company immediately.
    

The rainstorms in Winnipeg this weekend and the resulting damage also highlight the need for municipalities to adapt to climate change. Canada's aging sewer systems are not able to handle the increased precipitation that is now a reality. Infrastructure failure is to blame for most of the damage caused by severe weather events in recent decades.

If consumers have questions, they are encouraged to contact IBC's Consumer Information Centre at 1-877-772-3777.

About Insurance Bureau of Canada

Insurance Bureau of Canada is the national industry association representing Canada's private home, car and business insurers. Its member companies represent 90% 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 $39 billion.

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

SOURCE Insurance Bureau of Canada

For further information: For further information: contact Pete Karageorgos at (416) 362-2031 ext. 4329


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