Atlantic Canadians get ready for hurricane season

Atlantic Canadians get ready for hurricane season

Press Release:

HALIFAX, Atlantic Canada. To help ensure that everyone is prepared, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is reaching out to residents with tips and information.

“As we’ve seen in previous years, a hurricane can cause extensive damage regardless of its category,” said Amanda Dean, Vice-President, Atlantic, IBC. “Hurricane winds can cause structural damage to buildings, as well as uproot trees and knock down power lines. Even a significantly weakened hurricane can carry winds strong enough to cause widespread destruction and upheaval.”

IBC continues to offer Atlantic Canadians information and advice about coping with hurricanes, which commonly occur between the months of June and November, and other severe weather events which have been on the rise. Consumers can take steps now to ensure that they are properly covered and prepared before a storm hits.

IBC’s Top 10 tips to prepare for a hurricane are:

  1. Create an emergency preparedness plan for your family.
  2. Assemble disaster safety kits for your home, car and office
  3. Secure any loose patio furniture and barbecues when a storm is on its way.
  4. Protect or move property that might be damaged by flying debris.
  5. Prepare a detailed home inventory.
  6. Charge handheld electronics and have back-up power sources available.
  7. Have someone check your property if you are away.
  8. Make sure downspouts are clear of debris and direct water away from your home.
  9. To protect against flooding caused by torrential rain, install a sump pump, backwater valve or backflow valve.
  10. Check with your insurance representative to make sure you have appropriate coverage.

IBC reminds consumers that while insurance policies differ from company to company, a home insurance policy may cover:

  • Wind-related damage caused by a hurricane
  • Damage to your house, shed or fence caused by a fallen tree
  • Damage from rain entering your house through a window that is broken or a roof that is damaged by a windstorm
  • Loss of fridge and freezer contents due to an extended power outage
  • Water damage from sewer backup, if you purchased sewer backup coverage.

If your property is damaged during a hurricane, it is important to document any damages and contact your insurance representative as soon as possible.

  • 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.
  • Keep all receipts related to cleanup and living expenses if you’ve been displaced. Ask your insurance representative about what expenses you’re entitled to be reimbursed for and for what period of time

It’s also important to keep in mind that policies may have limitations and deductibles. Auto insurance typically covers flood damage and wind damage to your vehicle, such as a broken windshield from wind-borne debris, if you purchased comprehensive or all-risk coverage.

“Be sure to review your policy and speak to your insurance representative if you have questions about what you’re covered for,” said Dean. “Atlantic Canadians can also contact IBC’s Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2ask-IBC. We’re here to help.”

About Insurance Bureau of Canada
Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is the national industry association representing Canada’s private home, auto and business insurers. Its member companies make up 90% 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.

P&C insurance touches the lives of nearly every Canadian and plays a critical role in keeping businesses safe and the Canadian economy strong. It employs more than 120,000 Canadians, pays $8.2 billion in taxes and has a total premium base of $49 billion.

For media releases and more information, visit IBC’s Media Centre at www.ibc.ca. Follow IBC on Twitter @InsuranceBureau and@IBC_Atlantic or 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.

If you require more information, IBC spokespeople are available to discuss the details in this media release.

SOURCE Insurance Bureau of Canada

March storm in #Ontario tops $25 million in insured damage

Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) reports that the cost of insured damage caused by the ice storm that swept through Southern Ontario between March 23-26 is estimated at more than $25 million, according to the preliminary estimates provided by Catastrophe Indices and Quantification Inc. (CatIQ).*

While the storm hit many areas, Fergus, Orangeville, Barrie, Newmarket and surrounding areas were particularly affected by the storm. Strong winds and freezing rain toppled fences, trees and power lines, and left hundreds without power.

“Extreme weather events that used to happen once every 40 years now occur every six years, and have been increasing in severity,” said Kim Donaldson, Vice-President, Ontario, IBC. “In recent years, we’ve seen first-hand the impact that these storms can have, and the damage they do to our homes and businesses.”

Canadians, governments, businesses and the insurance industry recognize the toll that severe weather events are taking year after year. IBC has made adapting to severe weather a priority because it’s a phenomenon that continues to affect families and communities.

“One way to be better prepared is to understand your insurance coverage options,” Donaldson added. “Know what’s in your insurance policy, and research ways to reduce your property’s vulnerability to damage. For more information, speak with your insurance representative or call IBC’s Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2ask-IBC. We’re here to help.”

*This figure is based on a preliminary estimate from CatIQ, which compiles and combines comprehensive insured-loss amounts and related information to serve the risk management needs of the insurance and reinsurance industries.

About Insurance Bureau of Canada

Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is the national industry association representing Canada’s private home, auto and business insurers. Its member companies make up 90% 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.

P&C insurance touches the lives of nearly every Canadian and plays a critical role in keeping businesses safe and the Canadian economy strong. It employs more than 120,000 Canadians, pays $8.2 billion in taxes and has a total premium base of $49 billion.

For media releases and more information, visit IBC’s Media Centre at www.ibc.ca. Follow IBC on Twitter @InsuranceBureau and @IBC_Ontario or 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.

If you require more information, IBC spokespeople are available to discuss the details in this media release.

SOURCE Insurance Bureau of Canada

El Nino creates sticky situation for Canada’s maple syrup producers

El Nino creates sticky situation for Canada’s maple syrup producers

Many Canadians have been enjoying an unseasonably warm winter, but the balmy weather could spell trouble for maple syrup producers.

El Nino usually has a negative impact on harvesting and production of maple syrup, said Sylvain Charlebois, a professor at the Food Institute at the University of Guelph.”It wouldn’t be surprising to see 2016 as being a very bad year when it comes to maple syrup production as a result of the warmer weather we’ve been having,” said Charlebois. “I would say El Nino is affecting most if not all of the regions where maple syrup production is predominant.”Those regions include Quebec, the world’s dominant maple syrup producer, Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and American states like Vermont and New York.A mix of colder, sub-zero nights and warmer days above freezing are ideal syrup-producing conditions.

The Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers, which has about 7,300 members, said the season is a few days earlier than usual in parts of the province. In contrast, the past two years have seen late starts.

Federation spokeswoman Caroline Cyr said the past five or six years have been “really, really good” while 2006 and ’07 were poor.

“We know it could happen again,” she said. “It’s really Mother Nature who decides what will be the production.”

Cyr said there is almost 56 million pounds of syrup in reserve and Quebec usually produces around 100 million pounds in a season.

“We have half of the harvest so we could supply the market if we had one bad season with no problem,” she added.

Ray Bonenberg, who with his wife Carol Anne operates Mapleside Sugar Bush near Pembroke, Ont., said it’s too early to start worrying about the season.

“Now the last two years, remember, were abnormally late,” said Bonenberg, a spokesman for the Ontario Maple Syrup Producers Association, which represents about 550 members. “They were extremely cold and a lot of producers didn’t get going till the end of March. We had two good years. It came in a hurry and you had to really hustle, but this year we knew it was going to be early.”

Louise Poitras, executive director of the N.B. Maple Syrup Association, says production is just getting under way in the southern part of the province, which represents about 20 per cent of the 400 producers. Meanwhile, producers in the north don’t expect to begin boiling sap until the end of the month.

Charlebois said a poor season will put pressure on current supplies and may push prices higher next year.

“I suspect that next year prices will go up and how much it’s hard to tell, but usually when you’re dealing with a luxury product where demand really is, in Quebec in particular, an elastic you’re likely going to see prices increase by as much as perhaps 10 or 15 per cent,” he said.

Currently across the country a can of 540 millilitres of maple syrup sells between $7.50 and $10.

Bonenberg, who sells a litre of syrup for $23, says his costs for electricity, hydro, insurance and glass containers have increased.

“I expect prices to go up,” he said. “It could be as much as five to seven per cent.”

canada-press

A mix of rain, freezing rain and snow could make for a slow and messy commute across southern Ontario later this week.

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Tips/advice for homeowners and families as Winter Storm heads to Atlantic Canada

Tips/advice for homeowners and families as Winter Storm heads to Atlantic Canada

The incoming storm is expected to bring strong winds, heavy snowfalls and possibly freezing rain toAtlantic Canada. Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is providing tips and advice to those who will be digging out and cleaning up in the aftermath of the incoming storm.

“Atlantic Canadians continue to show their resilience to stormy weather, year after year,” said Amanda Dean, Vice-President, Atlantic, IBC. “We know the toll that these storms can have on families. Dealing with the damages, closures and delays that a storm can cause can be a daunting process.

“We want to make the recovery process as straightforward as possible,” continues Dean. “If you have a question about your insurance policy, contact your insurance representative or IBC’s Consumer Information Centre. We are here to help.”

IBC offers the following advice to those who will be digging out and cleaning up in the aftermath of the storm.

Tips for outside your home

  • Keep the sidewalk and front stairs of your house clear of snow and ice to prevent falls and injuries.
  • Clear the snow and ice from gas or propane meters, exhaust vents and basement windows.
  • To prevent exposed pipes from freezing, fit them with insulation sleeves or wrapping. Frozen pipes can break at their weakest point.
  • If safe to do so, clear snow from your roof and deck to avoid a potential collapse. In the case of heavy snow/ice build-up hire professionals.
  • If you need to drive, clear all the snow and ice from your vehicle before you start out, and make sure to watch for downed power lines.

How to start a claim

  • Call your insurance representative. 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 the damage, and keep damaged items unless they pose a health hazard.
  • Keep all receipts related to the cleanup and additional living expenses if you’ve been displaced. Ask your insurance representative what expenses you may be entitled to and for what period of time.
  • Review your policy to ensure you are familiar with specified deductibles, coverage limits and exclusions. Speak with your insurance representative if anything is unclear.

What insurance may cover?

  • Damage to homes caused by snow, hail or wind is typically covered by home insurance. This includes damage caused by flying debris or falling branches or trees, or damage to your home and its contents when water or snow enters through openings suddenly caused by high winds or flying debris.
  • Damage to mobile homes from wind may be covered. Policy wordings vary, so it’s best to check with your insurance representative.
  • Damage to vehicles from ice, wind or water is usually covered if you have comprehensive or all perils auto insurance. This coverage is not mandatory. Check your policy.
  • Coverage for overland flooding is not widely offered in Canada. Water damage caused by sewer backup may be covered if you purchased add-on coverage.
  • Water damage caused by an accumulation of ice or snow on a roof is covered only if specific coverage has been purchased.
  • Sudden and accidental bursting of plumbing pipes is covered by most residential policies. However, damage may not be covered when the escape of water is caused by freezing. Check with your insurance representative for the requirements and conditions in your policy.
  • Food spoilage resulting from power interruptions may be covered. Check your policy to see if you’re covered and whether a deductible applies.

About Insurance Bureau of Canada
Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is the national industry association representing Canada’s private home, auto and business insurers. Its member companies make up 90% 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.

P&C insurance touches the lives of nearly every Canadian and plays a critical role in keeping businesses safe and the Canadian economy strong. It employs more than 118,000 Canadians, pays $6.7 billion in taxes and has a total premium base of $48 billion.

For media releases and more information, visit IBC’s Media Centre at www.ibc.ca.

If you require more information, IBC spokespeople are available to discuss the details in this media release.

SOURCE Insurance Bureau of Canada

IBC Top 10: Maintenance tips for winterizing your home

EDMONTON, Dec. 14, 2015 /CNW/ – With winter weather fast approaching, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) offers western Canadians helpful maintenance tips to protect their homes over the winter season.

“Low temperatures, high winds, significant snowfall and freezing rain are examples of winter weather that can be damaging to houses, resulting in significant and costly repairs. By taking some simple steps, you can help protect your biggest investment – your home – and help keep your family safe over the winter months,” said Bill Adams, Vice-President, Western and Pacific, IBC.

IBC’s top 10 maintenance tips for winterizing your home are:

  1. Test and maintain smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.
  2. Ensure your furnace, wood stove and any other heating sources are in good working condition.
    • Have all heating sources inspected, maintained and cleaned. During the heating season, clean or replace furnace air filters each month, or as recommended by the manufacturer.
  3. If you go on vacation, even for a few days, leave the heat on and have someone you trust check on your home regularly while you are away. Make sure to check with your insurer how often your home needs to be checked under your policy while you are temporarily absent.
  4. Run water through all plumbing fixtures regularly, particularly during severe cold periods.
  5. Test plumbing shut-off valves.
  6. Inspect your attic for frost accumulation, and check your eavestroughs and roof for potential ice dams or icicles.
  7. Keep your sidewalk and the front stairs of your house clear of snow and ice.
  8. Keep snow away from gas meters, gas-appliance vents, exhaust vents and basement windows.
  9. Trim branches that are close to your house or electrical wires.
  10. Prevent exposed pipes from freezing by fitting them with insulation sleeves or wrapping.

About Insurance Bureau of Canada

Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is the national industry association representing Canada’s private home, auto and business insurers. Its member companies make up 90% 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.

P&C insurance touches the lives of nearly every Canadian and plays a critical role in keeping businesses safe and the Canadian economy strong. It employs more than 118,000 Canadians, pays $6.7 billion in taxes and has a total premium base of $48 billion.

For media releases and more information, visit IBC’s Media Centre at www.ibc.ca. Follow IBC on Twitter @InsuranceBureau and@IBC_West or 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.

If you require more information, IBC spokespeople are available to discuss the details in this media release.

SOURCE Insurance Bureau of Canada

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