Fort McMurray: Wildfire insurance claim deadline approaches

By Laura Beamish |

Just weeks away from the two-year insurance deadline for claims related to the May 2016 wildfires, Mayor Don Scott is feeling better after meeting with Alberta Finance Minister Joe Ceci after he was told the province could not extend the deadline for insurance companies.

In March, Scott sent a letter to Ceci, asking for insurance companies to extend the deadline. Last week, the province said they could not grant an extension as requested.

“We don’t have the ability to grant blanket exemptions with regard to folks who haven’t made claims,” said Ceci during a Wednesday visit to Fort McMurray. “What we can do and are doing is we’re insuring that the residents of Fort McMurray who need to have extensions have the support they need to request one.”

Ceci said that the government is working with the Insurance Bureau of Canada to make sure residents who need an extension are aware of their options.

“If a person is coming up against that two year timeline and they’re finding their insurance company is being somewhat slow or not supportive, they can contact the superintendent of insurance and the superintendent will get information both from the insurer and the insured and work to get that person an extension so that they can take the time they need to resolve their claim properly,” he said.

Scott said when he first heard the decision he was disappointed, but he was happy with how the meeting went, saying he understands that the government will try and help get the message out in other ways.

He said he is always worried there is someone out there that the message isn’t reaching and suggested that insurees be told directly about the deadline and their options, not simply relying on notices and messages on social media.

“I’m really asking the province to do a better job getting the message out,” said Scott. “We want him to understand the importance of that issue.”

Scott encourages to seek many options, including getting in touch with the Insurance Bureau of Canada, seeking legal advice, speaking with their own insurance company and speaking with the superintendent of insurance.

“It is critical that people talk and get advice,” said Scott.

The minister, mayor and councillors also discussed the importance of pipelines and their impact on the region, as well as key issues including homelessness and a potential ring road around Fort McMurray.

“It was a good, open, frank discussion,” said Ceci.

The superintendent of insurance can be contacted at 780-427-8322 or residents can get more information at

Do you have property damage due to flooding?

Flooding is impacting areas throughout B.C. SGI CANADA will do everything possible to work with you and your insurance broker, to help you through this difficult time.

Take care of yourself and your family to make sure everyone is safe. When you are able, contact your insurance broker to file your claim and begin the process.  If there are higher than normal claim volumes, we will assign additional adjusters for your area.

If you are unsure who your broker is or are unable to contact them, please contact SGI CANADA directly so that we may help direct your claim and coordinate with your broker.

You can contact us directly at:

SGI CANADA B.C. claims office
Daytime, weekdays: 1-877-435-1484
Evenings and weekends: 1-800-647-6448

Here is some more information about submitting a property claim.

Water Protection Coverage for homeowners

SGI CANADA offers Water Protection Coverage in flooding situations, in eligible areas. You may have this coverage in place on your home. You can speak to your broker to find out if you’re covered, or, if you’re unable to get ahold of them, contact us at the number listed above and we’ll check to see if it’s on your policy.

If you are evacuated, you may also be eligible for unexpected living expenses, including:

  • accommodations
  • fuel
  • meals
  • transportation costs

These costs can be covered up to a period of 30 days. Your coverage limit will depend on the value of your home. Please keep all your receipts during this period to submit if you decide to put in a claim. Your deductible would be subtracted from the amount of coverage you would receive.

If you’re staying with family or friends, you can also put in a claim. Talk to your broker or an SGI CANADA representative to find out more details for your circumstances.

Coverage for business owners

SGI CANADA also provides commercial Flood and Sewer Back Up Coverage.

SGI CANADA commercial property customers with Business Interruption Coverage (in addition to Flood), are eligible for coverage following damage to their property. This is not triggered by an evacuation; if damage should occur following the evacuation, the coverage would be maintained.

If you have questions about your coverage in the event of a flood, please contact your insurance broker. If you are unable to contact them directly, you can get information about your insurance policy for your business at:


Once you file your claim

While waiting to see an adjuster, take steps to protect your property from further damage or loss, but only if it is safe to do so.

SGI CANADA suggests that you:

  • Clean up as soon as possible. Seek professional advice from a disaster restoration company on how to clean up and take whatever reasonable steps you can to minimize further damage to your property.
  • Don’t throw anything out. Store damaged items in a reasonably safe place so the adjuster can see them when he or she arrives.
  • Have any appliances (including furnaces) that have come in contact with water checked by a qualified electrician, dealer or serviceperson before you use them.
  • Do not touch any electrical systems or panels until you know it is safe to do so, especially in wet or damp conditions.
  • Move damaged belongings to a dry area with good ventilation.

Property owners should keep track of cleaning expenses as they will be covered through an insurance claim. SGI CANADA also encourages customers to take photographs or video of their damaged property to give to their adjuster.

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Have you tried Premier’s Online Quote + Policy Issuance System?

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Premier Canada


Lawyer with Insult to Injury group asks why a cap is needed if it won’t lower rates

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Symbility and HOVER Collaborate to Reduce Claims Adjusting Costs

Symbility Solutions Inc. (“Symbility”) (TSX.V: SY), a global software company focused on modernizing the insurance industry and HOVER, a platform that offers an accurate, interactive 3D model of any property, today announced their collaboration to enable claims adjusters to quickly generate roof or exterior property plans that facilitate creating estimates and adjusting a claim for policyholders.

Now insurance adjusters using Symbility’s cloud-based claims management software can tap into HOVER’s powerful capabilities to receive accurate measurements needed for property claims, including square footage and linear measurements for roofing, siding, windows, doors, soffit, fascia and more. These exterior measurements are automatically imported into Symbility’s claims estimating platform and converted into a highly accurate 3D roof and exterior plan, allowing adjusters to produce an estimate in a few clicks.

Complete virtual adjusting is also now possible by leveraging the policyholder to take a few photos of their property. This process eliminates unnecessary site visits and will drastically improve cycle times.

“Our goal has always been to improve our customers’ experience by eliminating unnecessary steps in the claims process,” said James Swayze, CEO of Symbility Solutions. “We strive to empower the insurance carriers we work with so that they can provide a superb customer experience for each policyholder. Policyholders will now become more engaged in their claim with greater transparency by utilizing HOVER to gather the information required and eliminate the need for field adjusters to come on-site.”

This new collaboration will allow carriers to complete claims at a faster and more efficient pace than before. By combining HOVER’s accurate measurements with Symbility’s estimating and process management software, insurers will be able to resolve most claims in a fraction of the time and for a fraction of the cost.

“With the ability to now work seamlessly with Symbility, insurance carriers and their adjusters can resolve claims much faster. Homeowners will be able to start repairing their property within days rather than weeks, and insurance carriers will reduce costs while providing a better customer experience,” said Kevin Reilley, Executive Vice President at HOVER.

Founded in 2011, HOVER’s original product was used by the U.S. Military to reduce risk for personnel in harm’s way. Today, HOVER’s technology is transforming a market that has been notoriously difficult to change: home improvement. By building the world’s most comprehensive and accurate database of physical properties, HOVER is creating the future of 3D property data. For more information, visit

About Symbility
Symbility (TSX.V: SY) believes in creating world-class experiences that simplify business and improve lives. With a history in modernizing insurance claims solutions for the property and health industries, Symbility has established itself as a partner that puts security, efficiency and customer experience first. Symbility PROPERTY™ brings smarter thinking to property insurance. Symbility HEALTH™ helps benefits professionals build their brands and businesses. Our strategic services team, Symbility INTERSECT™ empowers a variety of businesses with smarter mobile and IoT product development strategy, design thinking and engineering excellence. With our three segments pushing industries forward, Symbility proves that change for the better is entirely possible.

Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

All trade names are the property of their respective owners.

SOURCE Symbility Solutions Inc.


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