BCAA Insurance helps homeowners fight fire with smart, simple advice

    BURNABY, BC, June 2 /CNW/ - A warm, dry trend with no significant
precipitation is setting off a number of fire danger ratings across the
province. BCAA Insurance urges all homeowners to safeguard themselves against
summer wildfires - especially those interfacing with forests.
    As one of the largest providers of home insurance in the province, BCAA
saw first hand the devastation that many of its policyholders faced in the
2003 forest fires, which destroyed 334 homes and evacuated over 45,000 people.
BCAA Insurance handled more than 220 fire-related insurance claims, including
several total losses as a result of these forest fires.
    "As important as it is to be armed with home insurance to cover your
belongings in a forest fire, most of us would rather not be faced with having
to start from scratch," says Brooke Hanson, BCAA Home Insurance Product
Manager. "That's why it's so important for homeowners to practice good fire
prevention measures now."

    BCAA advises the following smart, simple ways to prevent damage from
forest fires:

    -  Surround your home with a 10 metre low fuel belt. Clear away any
       trees, brush, gas/propane tanks and firewood that could add fuel to a
       fire. Use driveways, lawns and gravel to create a fuel break wherever

    -  Rethink your roof. Clear away overhanging trees and combustible debris
       such as pine needles or other vegetation that could act as fuel for
       airborne sparks and embers. Planning a new roof? Consider using non-
       combustible roofing material such as slate, metal, clay or tile - your
       insurance company may award a premium discount for non-combustible

    -  Be visible in an emergency. Make sure emergency crews can see your
       address clearly from the road. Be an advocate in your community for
       visible, fireproof street signs.

    -  Be "firesmart" inside your home. Keep one or more fire extinguishers
       charged and handy. Use a metal container to dispose of hot embers from

    -  Record your belongings. In the unfortunate event that you suffer a
       loss, it's important to have a record of your belongings whether
       that's achieved by writing a list, taking photos, or shooting a video
       of your home. Be sure to keep this record of your belongings in a safe
       place away from your home, such as a safe deposit box or office.

    -  Schedule an insurance check-up. Ensure your policies are accurate,
       current and provide all the coverage you need. During natural
       disasters, such as wildfires, insurance companies may have temporary
       restrictions on taking on new business, making the instant purchase or
       upgrading of insurance exceptionally difficult.

    For questions about home insurance coverage, consult with your local
insurance advisor. To report a wildfire, please the B.C. Forest Service on
1-800-663-5555, or (*)5555 from your cellphone.

    About BCAA

    BCAA is dedicated to meeting the needs of its members and customers
throughout B.C. and the Yukon, connecting them with a team of membership,
automotive, travel and insurance professionals. With over 793,000 members and
$130 million in revenues, BCAA is the largest organization of its kind in B.C.
and the fourth largest CAA-affiliated association in Canada. For the past
three years, BCAA was named one the 50 Best Employers in Canada by
international HR consultants Hewitt Associates and the Globe & Mail's Report
on Business magazine. To learn more about BCAA's products, services and member
advocacy, visit www.bcaa.com. For more information on the BCAA Traffic Safety
Foundation visit www.tsf-bcaa.com.

For further information:

For further information: Editors note: For further information, contact:
Brooke Hanson, Product Manager, Home Insurance, Tel: (604) 268-5590, E-mail:
brooke.hanson@bcaa.com; Jennifer Timm, Advisor, Media Relations, Tel: (604)
268-5342, Cell: (778) 228-8859, E-mail: jennifer.timm@bcaa.com

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