Customers can call 1-866 MY AVIVA (1-866-692-8482) to start the claim process
TORONTO, June 21, 2013 /CNW/ - With heavy rains and widespread water damage affecting much of Southern Alberta, Aviva Canada, one of the country's leading providers of home, auto, recreational vehicle, group and business insurance, is advising customers on how best to report any property damage and start the claim process.
Area residents with an Aviva Insurance Company of Canada, Elite Insurance Company or Traders General Insurance Company policy that have experienced property damage are asked to contact Aviva as soon as possible by calling 1-866 MY AVIVA (1-866-692-8482). Initial support will focus on issuing cheques for living expenses and other immediate needs.
"Immediate response in situations where homes and businesses are affected is crucial. This is how insurance works, and we will be there for our customers," said Mark Rouleau, Vice President, Western Canada at Aviva Canada.
As soon as the evacuation orders are lifted, the Aviva team will start visiting customers who have reported a claim. Aviva will expand out of its Calgary office and establish temporary locations to assist area residents.
Aviva urges residents to use extreme caution when returning to their property. Anytime that water damage is experienced, the first steps for property owners are to notify their broker or insurer and protect your property from further damage. It is important for homeowners to be aware that overland flooding is not covered by home insurance policies anywhere in Canada as it is a risk for only a small amount of the population. Sewer Backup coverage is widely covered in home insurance policies either as a standard inclusion or an add-on.
More information about flood coverage can be found in a press release issued by the Insurance Bureau of Canada.
There are several other preliminary actions you may take before your insurance adjuster arrives. First and foremost, ensure the area where the backup occurred is safe to enter because:
- Water damage may seriously weaken wall and ceiling structures.
- Residents could be exposed to highly contaminated water with disease or bacteria from raw sewage and other pollutants.
- Water may affect electrical and gas systems including related appliances, creating the possibility of serious electrical shock or explosion.
- If in doubt about safety to perform any actions within homes, residents should contact their local authorities.
- If necessary and it is safe to do so, turn off electricity, natural gas supply, furnace or air conditioner and water main, and stay away from electrical equipment.
- Take photos of the damage caused by the flooding - include pictures of the water's entry point.
- Be careful while cleaning up, wear gloves and dress appropriately - remember the water may be contaminated.
- Move as much furniture and other property as possible to a dry area.
- Throw out any fresh, packaged or frozen foods and personal hygiene products which may have been affected by the water.
- Make a list of all damaged property and note which property is permanently damaged and unusable.
- Keep any damaged property so claims adjusters may inspect it before having it removed.
What to expect in the coming days:
- If they have not already, residents should contact their insurer and/or insurance broker who will assess their claim. This is done to prioritize the damages of those most adversely affected.
- Damages, if covered by an insurance policy, will be quantified through a visit with an adjuster and arrangements will be made to complete repairs and replace damaged property.
- Adjusters and contractors will move to complete the emergency repairs to minimize further damages and to make damaged homes habitable.
The high level of damage caused by the water has put significant pressure on the local infrastructure and contractors will be focusing on those most badly hit first. As such, residents with lesser damage are asked to be patient with the repair timing.
About Aviva Canada
Aviva Canada is one of the leading Property and Casualty insurance groups in Canada providing home, automobile, recreational vehicle, group and business insurance to more than three million customers. A wholly-owned subsidiary of UK-based Aviva plc, the company has more than 3,000 employees, 25 locations and 1,700 independent broker partners. Aviva Canada and its employees invest in positive change including through the Aviva Community Fund and Eva's Initiatives, its partner in Aviva's global Street to School program to help homeless and other at-risk youth reach their potential.
SOURCE: Aviva Canada Inc.
For further information:
Senior Manager, Public Relations and Social Media
Aviva Canada Inc.
Desk: (416) 288-2685, Mobile: (416) 523-3225