Violent storms on June 10, 2008: Damages estimated at $56 million



    MONTREAL, July 2 /CNW Telbec/ - According to a survey by the Insurance
Bureau of Canada, insurers expect to pay out more than $56 million to
customers for repairs to their homes and cars damaged during the violent
storms that swept through several regions of Québec on June 10.

    Nearly 16,000 claims

    Despite the short duration of the storm, the intensity of the winds as
well as the localized hail showers caused extensive property damage. Insurers
report that more than 6,000 claims for damages to residences and personal
property have been submitted to date, and nearly 10,000 automobile insurance
claims have been filed.

    Insurers and repair workers in high demand

    In spite of the abnormally high volume of claims, insurers are working
hard to process their customers' claims as quickly as possible, prioritizing
files that require immediate action. This extra workload for both insurers and
repair workers could result in additional delays. Policyholders are being
asked for their understanding and cooperation.

    A fairly severe winter

    These storms follow a rather severe winter that resulted in damages
totalling over $172 million to homes only. In comparison, the winter of
2006-2007 was much milder, with property damage amounting to three times less,
a total of just $58 million.

    
                               Home Insurance
                   Damages resulting from heavy snowfall(*)

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Types of damage                 Number of claims    Estimated amount of
                                                                     damage
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Pools, spas and saunas                    14,000            $36,000,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Damage from the weight of snow/ice         7,000            $31,000,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Water damage (sewer back-ups/
     overflows and water leakage)             17,000           $105,000,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total                                     38,000           $172,000,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (*)This table only includes damages related to heavy snowfall.


    Avoid unpleasant surprises

    The Insurance Bureau of Canada would like to remind you that, contrary to
popular belief, it is possible to protect yourself against many of Mother
Nature's whims.

    1) Hail and windstorms: damages caused by hail and strong winds are
       covered in all home insurance policies.
    2) Outdoor pools, spas and saunas: it is possible to cover these kinds of
       property and their accessories, but you must add a rider to your home
       insurance policy.
    3) Water leakage and sewer back-ups and overflows: these damages can also
       be covered by a rider attached to your home insurance policy.
    4) Roof collapses due to the weight of the snow or ice: these damages are
       covered in what is called the comprehensive policy. Offered at an
       additional price, the comprehensive policy can prove to be a
       worthwhile solution because it provides greater protection than a
       basic contract.
    5) Car insurance: in Québec, only third-party liability insurance is
       mandatory. Insuring your vehicle against any damages it may sustain is
       optional. It is possible to ensure your vehicle against collision,
       fire, theft and damages caused by wind and hail.
    

    Be well-informed to be well-insured

    Several options are available to you when the time comes to insure your
home and car. To find out more and determine the protection you need, contact
your insurance professional or the Insurance Information Centre by dialling
514-288-4321 or 1-877-288-4321 or by visiting the Web site at
www.infoinsurance.ca.

    About the Insurance Bureau of Canada

    The Insurance Bureau of Canada is a national association that brings
together the majority of general insurance companies in Canada. It offers
various services to consumers in order to inform and assist them when
purchasing car or home insurance or making a claim.




For further information:

For further information: Alexandre Royer, Public Affairs Advisor, (514)
288-1563 ext. 232, Cell phone: (514) 953-0828


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