Hurricane season has begun and lasts until November 30. Although forecasters in the U.S. are predicting a “near-normal or below-normal” hurricane season for the Atlantic coast this year, there is still the potential for up to 13 tropical storms. What do you need to know about your insurance to be prepared?
Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) reminds consumers that damage caused by these types of events is normally covered by home insurance policies, with the exception of overland flooding. However, if your property is damaged, it is important to document any damages and check with your insurance representative as soon as possible.
Amanda Dean, IBC Vice-President, Atlantic, says, “In recent years, storms have caused a great deal of damage in our region as well as across Canada. Severe weather is the new normal for Canadians. But consumers can take steps to ensure now that they are properly covered and prepared before any storm hits.”
Are you covered?
- Damage to homes caused by rain or wind is generally covered. This includes damage caused by flying debris or falling branches or trees, or damage to your home when water enters through openings caused by high winds.
- Damage to mobile homes or trailers from wind may be covered. Policy wordings vary, so it’s best to check with your Insurance Broker.
- Damage to cars from wind or water is typically covered if you have comprehensive or all perils car insurance. This coverage isn’t mandatory, so check your policy.
- In general, overland flooding is not covered by home insurance. Damage caused by water is generally only covered in certain specific circumstances (for example, if the damage is caused by a sudden and accidental release from a water main or indoor plumbing).
- Water damage from a sewer backup is covered only if you have sewer backup coverage.
- In certain circumstances, homeowners who are unable to live in their homes because of insurable damage are entitled to additional living expenses. Ask your Insurance Broker for more information.
Tips for starting the claims process
- Contact your Insurance Broker or the nearest Wawanesa Insurance Branch or Service Office to report your claim. Be as detailed as possible when providing information.
- List all damaged or destroyed items. If possible, assemble proofs of purchase, photos, receipts and warranties. Take photos of damage incurred and keep damaged items, unless they pose a health hazard. Wawanesa's Personal Property Inventory form is a great resource you can use to for guide you through this process.
- Keep all receipts related to cleanup and living expenses if you’ve been displaced. Ask your Insurance Broker about what expenses you’re entitled to and for what period of time.
- Review your policy to ensure you are familiar with specified deductibles, coverage limits and replacement values. Talk to your Insurance Broker if anything is unclear.
Source: Insurance Bureau of Canada