Tips and advice for homeowners and families as Winter Storm heads to Atlantic Canada

HALIFAX, Jan. 12, 2016 /CNW/ - The incoming storm is expected to bring strong winds, heavy snowfalls and possibly freezing rain to Atlantic Canada. Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is providing tips and advice to those who will be digging out and cleaning up in the aftermath of the incoming storm.

"Atlantic Canadians continue to show their resilience to stormy weather, year after year," said Amanda Dean, Vice-President, Atlantic, IBC. "We know the toll that these storms can have on families. Dealing with the damages, closures and delays that a storm can cause can be a daunting process.

"We want to make the recovery process as straightforward as possible," continues Dean. "If you have a question about your insurance policy, contact your insurance representative or IBC's Consumer Information Centre. We are here to help."

IBC offers the following advice to those who will be digging out and cleaning up in the aftermath of the storm.

Tips for outside your home

  • Keep the sidewalk and front stairs of your house clear of snow and ice to prevent falls and injuries.
  • Clear the snow and ice from gas or propane meters, exhaust vents and basement windows.
  • To prevent exposed pipes from freezing, fit them with insulation sleeves or wrapping. Frozen pipes can break at their weakest point.
  • If safe to do so, clear snow from your roof and deck to avoid a potential collapse. In the case of heavy snow/ice build-up hire professionals.
  • If you need to drive, clear all the snow and ice from your vehicle before you start out, and make sure to watch for downed power lines.

How to start a claim

  • Call your insurance representative. Be as detailed as possible when providing information.
  • List all damaged or destroyed items. If possible, assemble proofs of purchase, photos, receipts and warranties. Take photos of the damage, and keep damaged items unless they pose a health hazard.
  • Keep all receipts related to the cleanup and additional living expenses if you've been displaced. Ask your insurance representative what expenses you may be entitled to and for what period of time.
  • Review your policy to ensure you are familiar with specified deductibles, coverage limits and exclusions. Speak with your insurance representative if anything is unclear.

What insurance may cover?

  • Damage to homes caused by snow, hail or wind is typically covered by home insurance. This includes damage caused by flying debris or falling branches or trees, or damage to your home and its contents when water or snow enters through openings suddenly caused by high winds or flying debris.
  • Damage to mobile homes from wind may be covered. Policy wordings vary, so it's best to check with your insurance representative.
  • Damage to vehicles from ice, wind or water is usually covered if you have comprehensive or all perils auto insurance. This coverage is not mandatory. Check your policy.
  • Coverage for overland flooding is not widely offered in Canada. Water damage caused by sewer backup may be covered if you purchased add-on coverage.
  • Water damage caused by an accumulation of ice or snow on a roof is covered only if specific coverage has been purchased.
  • Sudden and accidental bursting of plumbing pipes is covered by most residential policies. However, damage may not be covered when the escape of water is caused by freezing. Check with your insurance representative for the requirements and conditions in your policy.
  • Food spoilage resulting from power interruptions may be covered. Check your policy to see if you're covered and whether a deductible applies.

About Insurance Bureau of Canada
Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is the national industry association representing Canada's private home, auto and business insurers. Its member companies make up 90% of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance market in Canada. For more than 50 years, IBC has worked with governments across the country to help make affordable home, auto and business insurance available for all Canadians. IBC supports the vision of consumers and governments trusting, valuing and supporting the private P&C insurance industry. It champions key issues and helps educate consumers on how best to protect their homes, cars, businesses and properties.

P&C insurance touches the lives of nearly every Canadian and plays a critical role in keeping businesses safe and the Canadian economy strong. It employs more than 118,000 Canadians, pays $6.7 billion in taxes and has a total premium base of $48 billion.  

For media releases and more information, visit IBC's Media Centre at Follow IBC on Twitter @InsuranceBureau and @IBC_Atlantic or like us on Facebook. If you have a question about home, auto or business insurance, contact IBC's Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2ask-IBC ext. 228.

If you require more information, IBC spokespeople are available to discuss the details in this media release.

SOURCE Insurance Bureau of Canada

For further information: To schedule an interview, please contact: Ariella Kimmel, Manager, Media Relations, 416-362-2031 ext. 4312 (office), 416-550-9062 (after hours),


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