Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is reassuring consumers throughout Atlantic Canada that their property insurance will respond to storm-related damage caused by Hurricane Juan. Most homeowner and automobile policies will cover damage caused by windstorm, including broken windows. Additionally, sewer backup may be covered by special policy coverage.
“When this kind of extreme weather hits, the priority for Canada’s Property and Casualty insurers is to assist in putting people’s lives back to normal,” said Don Forgeron, vice president, Atlantic, IBC. “People need to know that insurance covers this kind of windstorm damage.”
If a tree causes damage to one’s home, shed or fence, the damage caused is covered as is the removal of debris. Most homeowners and tenants package policies also cover damage to freezer contents.
As is the case with any loss, policyholders should reportedly discuss their coverages and any deductibles with an insurance professional as soon as possible. Policyholders are also advised that these losses should be well documented. “Consumers are urged to contact their insurers to report damage claims and discuss coverage,” added Forgeron.
IBC advised that special claims handling procedures are in place to deal with the aftermath of the Hurricane. Special claims response units have been established and additional staff are being sent in from other parts of the country.
“Most companies are treating this as the extreme event that it was. In general, claims submitted in the Hurricane’s wake will not affect claims-free discounts,” said Forgeron.
Events of this magnitude are not new to insurers. In 1998, in the wake of the Ice Storm that affected Eastern Ontario and Quebec, the insurance industry expeditiously paid over 700,000 claims valued at more than $1.6 billion.
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