Winter storm season is here

    Insurers ask: Are you ready?

    VANCOUVER, Nov. 13 /CNW/ - Now that the winter storm season is underway,
Insurance Bureau of Canada is reminding B.C. consumers to make sure they're
ready for further severe storms that may come our way.
    "We are currently assessing the damage from the storm earlier this week,"
said Lindsay Olson, Vice-President, British Columbia, Saskatchewan & Manitoba.
"Everyone remembers the tough storms of last winter, which cost $135 million
in insured damage. Most claims were for wind damage and sewer back-up."
    She added: "According to many experts, increasingly stormy weather
patterns are here to stay. This is why insurers are urging residents to
prepare today for future storms. By preparing in advance, you can reduce the
impact of a storm."

    Here are some tips on how to avoid or lessen storm damage:

    -   Prepare your property and, in particular, your trees. Scan the trees
        near and on your property for branches overhanging power lines, or
        trees likely to fall on power lines or your home should a severe wind
        or ice storm occur. Even if trees are healthy, their branches may
        need to be trimmed.
    -   Clear fallen leaves from roof gutters, downspouts and drainage system
        to mitigate localized flooding and potential property damage.
    -   Bring outdoor furniture and other outdoor items indoors when a
        windstorm watch is announced. Anything left outdoors can become a
        missile in a windstorm.
    -   "When your policy comes up for renewal, review your coverage options
        with your insurance professional," added Olson. "Make sure your
        policy reflects your needs before the next storm hits."

    For more information on property insurance, call Insurance Bureau of
Canada Consumer Information Center at (877) 772-3777.

    Insurance Bureau of Canada is the national trade association of the
property and casualty insurance industry. Its member companies provide more
than 90% of the private home, car and business insurance sold in Canada. To
view news releases and information, visit the media section of IBC's website

For further information:

For further information: Lindsay Olson, (604) 684-3635

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