HALIFAX, NS, Sept. 26, 2022 /CNW/ - In the aftermath of Hurricane Fiona, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is providing insurance information and advice to affected residents and has deployed its Virtual Community Assistance Mobile Pavilion (CAMP).
"Tragically, Hurricane Fiona has resulted in multiple lives lost, and our hearts go out to the families and friends coping with tremendous grief during this difficult time," said Amanda Dean, Vice-President, Atlantic, IBC. "There has been widespread destruction to property and public infrastructure across Atlantic Canada. Our thoughts are with all those whose lives have been disrupted and whose property has been damaged. While recovery efforts continue, rest assured that anyone whose property or vehicle was damaged can contact their insurance representative when they are ready to start the claims process. Those with general insurance questions are encouraged to contact IBC's Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2ask-IBC."
Because insurers serve as "second responders" in the recovery period after catastrophe strikes, IBC's Virtual CAMP is staffed with trained insurance industry personnel who are on hand at IBC's Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2ask-IBC (1-844-227-5422) to help address consumers' general questions about their home, business or vehicle insurance policies.
IBC has also created a dedicated "Fiona recovery" webpage that contains important insurance information to help affected residents understand their insurance coverage and the various stages of the claims process. To learn more, please visit: http://www.ibc.ca/ns/disaster/hurricane-and-tropical-storms
Every policy is different. Know what your insurance covers
Your insurance representative can confirm the coverage you have with your current policy and any potential deductible. Damage to homes caused by a windstorm and rain is usually covered, such as:
Losses caused by flying debris or fallen trees and/or branches.
Losses to your home and its contents from water entering through openings suddenly caused by wind.
Damage to vehicles from wind or water, if you have comprehensive coverage as part of your policy. (This coverage is optional, so check with your insurance representative to see what coverage you have purchased.)
Water damage in a basement due to a sewer backup is only covered if you have purchased specific, optional sewer backup coverage.
The contents of your refrigerator and freezer may be covered for damage related to food spoilage caused by an accidental power interruption. Typically, in this situation, your fridge, freezer and their contents are insured for a specified amount. Check your policy.
In certain circumstances, homeowners who are unable to stay in their homes because of insured damage may be entitled to additional living expenses. Check with your insurance representative to find out what your policy covers.
Home insurance policies generally do not cover damage caused by coastal flooding and/or storm surge.
Automobile insurance does cover damage caused by storm surge and wind if you purchased optional comprehensive or all perils coverage.
For those who have experienced damage caused by storm surge, provincial and federal funding may be available through the Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangement (DFAA) program. This program is designed for homeowners that are unable to obtain coverage through the private insurance market. Damage to your primary residence may be eligible for government assistance (if the program is launched), but secondary residences and cottages are excluded from these programs.
Why storm surge coverage is currently unavailable
With a fast-changing climate leading to rising sea levels and eroding coastlines, the risk modeling required by insurers to develop prices for coastal flood coverage is highly complex.
Without accurate risk modeling, the risk is deemed too high to make the coverage affordable and/or available.
The P&C insurance industry is eager to continue working with government to create a national public-private insurance program for overland flooding that offers protection to all Canadians. As part of this program, insurers are signaling that flood mapping/risk modelling, along with physical mitigation, improved building codes and land-use planning, are all necessary parts of Canada's response to flood risk and our larger National Adaptation Strategy.
A public-private insurance program is part of this Strategy and will help close the insurance protection gap for the approximately 1.54 million homes in Canada that are at such high risk of flooding that private insurance for these homeowners is neither affordable nor available.
Tips for starting the claims process
When it is safe, take these steps to begin the insurance claims process:
Assess and document the damage. Taking photos can be helpful.
Call your insurance representative or your insurer's claims department to report your damage.
If possible, assemble proofs of purchase, photos, receipts and warranties. Keep damaged items unless they pose a health hazard.
Keep notes and be as detailed as possible when documenting damage and providing information.
Keep all receipts related to cleanup.
If you've been displaced, keep the receipts for your additional living expenses. Ask your insurance representative if you are entitled to additional living expenses, and for what period of time.
Once you have reported a loss, you will be assigned a claims adjuster by your insurance company. Given the number of people affected by the severe storm, it may take some time, but you will be contacted.
The claims adjuster will investigate the circumstances of the loss, examine the documents you provide and explain the process. Take notes and ask questions during these conversations.
Your insurance company might ask you to complete a Proof of Loss form to list the property and/or items that have been damaged or destroyed, with the corresponding value or cost of the damage or loss. Ask your insurance representative or claims adjuster to clarify anything you are unsure about.
About Insurance Bureau of Canada
Insurance Bureau of Canada is the national industry association representing Canada's private home, auto and business insurers. Its member companies make up the vast majority of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance market in Canada. For more than 50 years, IBC has worked with governments across the country to help make affordable home, auto and business insurance available for all Canadians. IBC supports the vision of consumers and governments trusting, valuing and supporting the private P&C insurance industry. It champions key issues and helps educate consumers on how best to protect their homes, cars, businesses and properties.
For media releases and more information, visit IBC's Media Centre at www.ibc.ca. Follow us on Twitter @IBC_Atlantic and like us on Facebook. If you have a question about home, auto or business insurance, contact IBC's Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2ask-IBC.
SOURCE Insurance Bureau of Canada
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