Lax security, severe weather threat to seasonal homeowners



    Insurer introduces mobile claims centre to help consumers deal with
    severe weather

    TORONTO, Sept. 28 /CNW/ - Canadian seasonal homeowners are inadequately
prepared for severe weather and theft, according to a recent survey.
    The research, commissioned by Royal & SunAlliance (R&SA) - a leading
provider of home, car and business insurance, found that one-third of Canadian
cottagers are unequipped for harsh weather conditions and only one-quarter of
respondents keep their doors locked at all times when vacationing at their
cottage.
    "Cottage season no longer ends on Labour Day. Canadians are outfitting
their cottages with the amenities of home and making them appropriate for
year-round living. As a result, the value of the contents of cottages is
increasing. This makes the need for protection against severe weather and
property invasions increasingly important," says Irene Bianchi, Vice President
of Claims & Corporate Services, R&SA. "Precautions like locking doors and
windows, having a disaster safety kit readily available and having proper
insurance are the first steps in protecting yourself."
    Specific to severe weather, the survey found that of the third of
cottagers who are unprepared for severe weather, 35 per cent said that it
never even occurred to them to prepare. Another 26 per cent of these
respondents stated that they are not concerned about the affects of severe
storms. This is particularly alarming in light of the 2006 summer storm in
Ontario which included two tornadoes and caused $500 million in damage.
    To help property owners cope with damage related to severe weather, Royal
& SunAlliance is launching a mobile claims unit that will travel to
communities coping with the after-effects of weather disasters. The Claims
Response Vehicle will be staffed by adjusters and will deliver immediate
access to local claims services. The vehicle will also appear at community
events where the R&SA Claims team will offer tips and advice on how to protect
yourself.
    Specific to the increase in the value of contents in cottages, the survey
uncovered that four in five of respondents have a TV at the cottage, and over
half have stereo equipment and DVD players.
    R&SA offers the following tips for seasonal homeowners:

    
    -   Lock doors and windows while away from the cottage

    -   Install deadbolt locks on doors and do not hide spare keys in obvious
        places

    -   Avoid keeping valuables at the cottage while away, unless they are
        locked in a safe

    -   Lock up motorized water sports equipment, such as boats and jet skis

    -   Secure a neighbour to periodically survey the property when it is
        vacant

    -   Talk to your local insurance broker to ensure you have the coverage
        that's right for you
    

    The survey was conducted by Leger Marketing among 1,504 adult Canadians
between July 18 and 22, 2007. The margin of error for a sample of this size is
+/-2.5%, 19 times out of 20.

    For more information, visit www.royalsunalliance.ca or talk to your local
insurance broker to ensure proper coverage is in place. R&SA works with a
national network of more than 800 local insurance brokers across the country.
To find an R&SA broker, visit www.royalsunalliance.ca or call 1-888-877-1710.

    
    Notes to editors:

    -   R&SA is the national insurance Sponsor of the AIR MILES(R) Reward
        Program. Earn 1 AIR MILES(R) reward mile for every $20 (including
        taxes) spent on a new or renewed personal home or car policy
        purchased through a local R&SA insurance broker. For more
        information, visit www.royalsunalliance.ca
    





For further information:

For further information: Christine Siemiernik, External Communications
Consultant, Royal & SunAlliance, (416) 366-7600 ext. 2987, (416) 274-1448
(cellular); Samantha Kemp-Jackson, Nadine Ricketts, APEX Public Relations,
(416) 924-4442 Ext. 248, 227, sjackson@apexpr.com, nricketts@apexpr.com

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