Windsor floods cause close to $108 million in insured damage

Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) reports that flooding which impacted the Windsor and Tecumseh areas at the end of September has resulted in almost $108 million in insured damage according to Catastrophe Indices and Quantification Inc. (CatIQ).

During the night of September 28 and 29, heavy rain fell over Windsor, Tecumseh, Leamington, and Essex County in southwestern Ontario resulting in significant flooding across the region. Windsor and Tecumseh bore the brunt of the flooding and a state of emergency was declared on the evening of September 29.

“Flood events are happening across Canada with more frequency and with greater severity,” said Kim Donaldson, Vice-President, Ontario, IBC. “It is important that Canadians understand their insurance policies and that they know what’s covered before bad weather strikes.”

Over 6,000 home, auto, and business claims were filed with insurers following the flood. IBC deployed its Community Assistance Mobile Pavilion to the Windsor area on September 30 and helped local consumers with any insurance-related issues they had. For more information on IBC’s CAMP, please visit www.ibc.ca, or call the Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2ask-IBC.

“We didn’t think it would come this high. It’s never come this high before. We’ve lived here for 25 years,” she said.

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Expedited Non-resident Adjuster Licensing Protocol

Due to Wildfires in Northern Alberta, AIC Implementing Expedited Non-resident Adjuster Licensing Protocol

Alberta legislation requires that all independent adjusters must hold a valid adjuster’s certificate of authority in order to act as an adjuster in the Province of Alberta. There are no provisions in the legislation to allow for the issuance of a “temporary” certificate during situations involving storms, flooding or other disasters. Only staff adjusters who are employees of insurance companies are exempt from licensing in Alberta.

The Alberta Insurance Council (“Council”) has put a protocol of procedures in place to expedite the issuance of adjusters’ certificates of authority to non-residents applying as a result of a storm, flooding or other disasters in Alberta.

In circumstances where the Insurance Adjusters’ Council considers it beneficial and necessary to utilize this protocol, Council will exercise the processes described in the document. Council will process properly completed applications on the following basis:

  • without the original non-resident endorsement if the applicant holds a valid adjuster’s certificate in their resident jurisdiction where the Council can confirm their licensing status on the web site of their resident licensing authority;
  • without the criminal record check on the assurance that a criminal record check will be provided within 60 days of the issuance of the certificate.

The application process is an on-line process that requires the applicant to:

  1. obtain a CIPR number,
  2. logon to the AIC web site and apply on-line, and
  3. have the Designated Representative approve and submit the on-line application to the Council for processing. A fee payment must be included.

In order for the Council to assess an applicant’s eligibility to qualify for an Alberta Level 2 or 3 Adjuster’s certificate, we require a transcript from the Insurance Institute of Canada of the courses the applicant completed. In addition we must receive proof that the applicant holds an Associate, Fellow, CIP or FCIP designation as well as a short one-page summary detailing the applicant’s adjusting experience. If you are unable to provide this information at the time of application, the Council will issue a certificate as a Level 1 adjuster in order to expedite the issuance of the certificate. An application to upgrade a certificate at a later date may be made upon submission of the appropriate documentation and a $25 upgrade fee.

If you have any questions, please contact Sylvia Boyetchko, Director of Licensing at 1-780-421-4148.

Seine up to Highest Level in 35 Years, Paris Landmarks Shut

The swollen Seine River kept rising June 3, 2016, spilling into Paris streets and forcing one landmark after another to shut down as it surged to its highest levels in nearly 35 years. Across the city, museums, parks and cemeteries were being closed as the city braced for possible evacuations.

The Seine was expected to peak in Paris sometime later Friday at about 5 metres (16 feet, 3 inches) above normal. Authorities shut the Louvre museum, the national library, the Orsay museum and the Grand Palais, Paris’ striking glass-and-steel topped exhibition centre.

paris-flood-cars_0“We evaluate the situation for all the (cultural) buildings nearly hour-by-hour,” said Culture Minister Audrey Azouley, speaking to journalists outside the world-famous Louvre. “We don’t know yet the evolution of the level of the Seine River in Paris.”

At the Louvre, home to Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa,” curators were scrambling to move some 250,000 artworks from basement storage areas at risk of flooding to safer areas upstairs.

Nearly a week of heavy rain has led to serious flooding across a swathe of Europe, leaving 15 people dead and others missing.

Although the rain has tapered off in some areas, floodwaters are still climbing. Traffic in the French capital was snarled as flooding choked roads and several Paris railway stations shut down.

Basements and apartments in the capital’s well-to-do 16th district began to flood Friday afternoon as the river crept higher, and authorities were preparing possible evacuations in a park and islands on Paris’ western edge.

In addition to the Louvre, the Orsay museum, home to a renowned collection of impressionist art on the left bank of the Seine, was also closed Friday to prepare for possible flooding. The Grand Palais, which draws 2.5 million visitors a year, was also shut down.

The closures are highly unusual.

The Louvre said the museum had not taken such precautions in its modern history _ since its 1993 renovation at the very least. Disappointed tourists were being turned away.

“I am really sorry, but we’re closed today,” one staffer told visitors.  “We have to evacuate masterpieces from the basement.”

Elsewhere in Europe, authorities were counting the cost of the floods as they waded through muddy streets and waterlogged homes.

German authorities said the body of a 65-year-old man was found overnight in the town of Simbach am Inn, bringing the country’s death toll over recent days to 10. France’s Interior Ministry also reported the death of a 74-year-old man who fell from his horse and drowned in a river in the Seine-et-Marne region east of Paris, the second death in France.

In eastern Romania, two people died and 200 people were evacuated from their homes as floods swept the area, including one man who was ripped from his bicycle by a torrent of water in the eastern village of Ruginesti.

In Belgium, rescue workers found the body of a beekeeper who was swept away by rising waters while trying to protect his hives in the village of Harsin.

The German Insurance Association estimates this week’s flooding has caused some 450 million euros ($500 million) in damage in the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg alone.

The foul weather has added to the major travel disruptions France is already experiencing, after weeks of strikes and other industrial actions by workers upset over the government’s proposed labour reforms. French rail company SNCF said the strikes had led to the cancellation of some 40 per cent of the country’s high-speed trains.

In addition, French energy company Enedis says that more than 20,000 customers are without power to the east and south of Paris because of flooding.

Outside the Louvre, tourists expressed understanding at the museum’s closure.

“It’s good that they are evacuating the paintings. It’s a shame that we couldn’t see them today, but it’s right that they do these things,” said Carlos Santiago, visiting from Mexico.

Paris is measuring river levels using an unusual method called the Austerlitz scale. It involves comparing the surface level with an underwater sensor slightly below the surface at the Austerlitz Bridge, said regional environment director Jerome Goellner.

In normal times, the river level is between 1 metre and 2 metres (3 feet, 3 inches to 6 1/2 feet) on the Austerlitz scale, he said, a system used out of historical habit so one flood could be compared to another. But a piece of trash trapped in the sensor led authorities to undercount the rise of the Seine earlier this week, he said.

The Seine has so far risen about 4.5 metres (15 feet) from its typical position following days of heavy rains. Goellner says it’s not possible to put a precise time on the peak but “we’re near the maximum.”

With leading Paris museums closed, the surging currents are becoming a tourist attraction in themselves.

Prakash Amritraj of India, a 42-year-old visiting Paris with his wife and two children, took selfies on the Mirabeau Bridge in western Paris.

“I had never thought of possible floods in Paris city centre. In India, we have the monsoon, but here! It’s not supposed to happen!” he said.

While he sympathized with all those affected, he was able to appreciate the flooding from a different perspective.

“It’s kind of beautiful, in a way,” he said.

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Musicians to play benefit concert to help people affected by Fort McMurray fire

Nickelback and other Canadian musicians will be taking to the stage to raise money for people affected by the Fort McMurray wildfire.

Some of the other artists who are to play the June 29 Fire Aid benefit concert in Edmonton include Blue Rodeo, Corb Lund and Ian Tyson.

Organizers say all proceeds raised from the event at Commonwealth Stadium will benefit the Fort McMurray United Way to support the city’s efforts to rebuild.

More than 80,000 people were forced from their homes on May 3 by the wildfire that ripped through the oilsands city.

Residents are to be allowed to return starting on June 1 if officials determine that conditions are safe.

Volunteer organizers of the concert include officials from the Oilers Entertainment Group and the Edmonton Eskimos Football Club.

“We had bands reaching out to us before we’d even had our first meeting,” said Harvey Cohen of Live Nation, one of the promoters.

“We already had bands reaching out to us saying, ‘Hey are you planning on doing anything? We know you did a big flood concert in 2013, are you planning something as well for this?’ and so we got right to it.”

Another fundraiser for Fort McMurray is set for June 5 in Toronto. Comedians Pat Thornton and Ryan Belleville are producing and hosting a 12-hour telethon at the Rivoli with proceeds going to the Red Cross. Some of the lineup confirmed so far include Colin Mochrie, Sean Cullen, Mark Forward and the cast of CBC’s Baroness Von Sketch show.

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