Don't let severe weather take you by storm - Alberta leads Canada in extreme weather losses in recent years

EDMONTON, May 8, 2013 /CNW/ - For Emergency Preparedness Week Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is helping Canadians get better prepared against severe weather should disaster strike.

"Extreme weather is on the rise across Canada. Of all the catastrophic insured-losses that took place in Canada last year, 62% were in Alberta.  Events that used to happen every 40 years can now be expected to happen every six," says Bill Adams, VP, Western and Pacific, IBC. "Homes are damaged more frequently by heavy rainfall, hail damage, storm surges, and tornadoes. Albertans, in particular, need to know how to protect their families and homes in the event of an emergency."

There is often much discussion about what you can do to prepare before disaster strikes. But IBC wants to remind Canadians it is equally important to know what to do during and after a weather related tragedy.

  • During an emergency you could be faced with many scenarios, especially when it comes to severe weather. It's important to be aware of who to call and what to do in different situations.
  • Be alert and informed.  The Province of Alberta operates "Emergency Alert" to ensure citizens get quick and accurate information in the event of an emergency or disaster.  Sign up at to get notices on your phone or computer.
  • Be prepared to evacuate if instructed by local officials.
  • Power outages can often occur during a disaster. If they last, you need to know how to respond.
  • We hope you never have to file a claim but if you do, here's what you should know to help make the process a little easier.
  • Damage to buildings caused by wind or hail is typically covered under most home insurance policies.
  • Damage to vehicles from wind, hail or water is usually covered if you have purchased comprehensive or all perils coverage auto insurance. This kind of coverage isn't mandatory, so check your policy or get on the phone with your insurance representative.
  • Damage from a sewer backup is covered - IF you have it in your policy and only up to the amount of coverage purchased. It is not automatically included, so check with your insurance representative, especially if you live in a low-lying area.
  • Overland flooding is NOT covered by insurance policies in Canada. This kind of flooding can be caused by a spring thaw, a storm surge, or water overflowing from rivers, streams, etc., that flows onto dry land and enters the home.
  • In many circumstances, homeowner's, condominium and tenant's insurance policies cover additional living expenses for people who can't return home due to insurable damage.

CAVEAT: Every situation and policy is different, so please check with your insurance provider

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 115,000 Canadians, pays more than $7 billion in taxes to the federal, provincial and municipal governments, and has a total premium base of $44 billion.

To view media releases and other information, visit the media section of IBC's website at Follow IBC on Twitter @InsuranceBureau or like us on Facebook.


For further information:

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

To schedule an interview, please contact:

Steve Kee
Director, Media Relations
Insurance Bureau of Canada
416-362-2031 X-4387

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