Tropical Storm Andrea: What homeowners can do to prepare

HALIFAX, June 6, 2013 /CNW/ - With the potential for Tropical Storm Andrea approaching the Atlantic this weekend, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) urges consumers to stay safe and also offers tips on how to protect themselves and their property.

"First and foremost, people should make sure that they and their families are safe, and that they have a 72 hour emergency safety kit at the ready," said Amanda Dean, Vice-President, Atlantic Region, IBC. "Homeowners should also record contact information for their insurance representative and keep it in a safe place," added Dean. "If they need to make a claim, knowing who to contact can make the process move along more quickly."

The Canadian Hurricane Centre is predicting an active hurricane season this year, telling residents in the Atlantic provinces to brace themselves for some major hurricanes. IBC reminds residents in Atlantic Canada to take some simple measures to prepare now to protect your family and home.

In 2012 alone there was over $1.19 billion in insured losses in Canada due to severe weather. Severe weather is on the rise across Canada. Events that used to happen every 40 years can now be expected to happen every six. Homes are damaged more frequently by heavy rainfall, hail damage, storm surges, tornadoes and hurricanes. This makes it even more critical to know how you can protect your family and your home in the event of an emergency.

Homeowners should consider these steps to prepare for severe weather:

  • Lock your windows securely and, if possible, cover window glass with protective film to prevent shattering.
  • If flooding is a possibility, move any valuables out of the basement.
  • Outside, it is a good idea to remove all outdoor furniture, garbage cans and hanging or potted plants, and trim back trees and shrubs.
  • Those in the path of the storm should also ensure they are prepared in case there is a power outage. Fill pots of water in case water pumps are not functioning. Charge flashlight and radio batteries. Unlock doors that automatically operated, such as garage doors.

Tropical storms are not new to insurers in Atlantic Canada. In the past few years we have dealt with many tropical storms with recent estimates of $115 million in water damage to homes throughout Atlantic Canada.

The good news is that most homeowner and automobile policies will cover damage caused by windstorms, including things like broken windows. Sewer backup may be covered by special policy coverage, but water damage caused by overland flooding is usually not covered by insurance. Contact your insurance representative directly to discuss the details of your policy. Know the details of your policy before any damage occurs.

Consumers who have general questions can contact IBC's Atlantic Consumer Information Centre at 1-800-565-7189 x. 228.

For more information on hurricane preparedness view our YouTube video:
http://youtu.be/ZKdgmNUCjEY

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 118,600 Canadians, pays more than $7 billion in taxes to the federal, provincial and municipal governments, and has a total premium base of $46 billion.

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


SOURCE: INSURANCE BUREAU OF CANADA

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:

Helen Lialias
Media Relations Officer
416-362-2031 ext. 4312
hlialias@ibc.ca

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INSURANCE BUREAU OF CANADA

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