Victims of the tornado that ripped through Gatineau said their concerns were answered during a meeting with the Insurance Bureau of Canada on Monday evening.
About 100 people attended the hour-long meeting at the Maison des citoyens, where IBC and the Red Cross provided information to those displaced by the storm on how to proceed with their insurance claims.
“It’s extremely reassuring to receive information and have answers to our questions,” said Monique Roy, who has had to leave her tornado-damaged home. “What’s happening is new for almost everyone, so it’s great to be able to ask questions and know what’s next.”
IBC had a presentation ready, but most of the meeting was dedicated to answering questions, said Pierre Babinsky, the bureau’s director of communications and public affairs.
“The main goal for tonight was to meet as many people as possible to explain to them what’s covered and what’s not,” he added. “It’s important to explain to them that damages caused by wind are covered by a basic insurance. There is no need for additional protection.”
The tornado, rated high E/F3 by investigators from Environment Canada, left thousands of people without power and hundreds of others without a place to call home when it hit on Friday evening.
Gatineau resident Giselle Poirier said the support she has been receiving has helped her to stay positive.
“Everyone is here for us, even for those who are not insured. It’s great to see everyone come together,” she added.
Others who attended the meeting said they were concerned that the damage already caused by the storm could be made worse on Tuesday with rain forecast throughout the region.
“A lot of people are wondering what’s going to happen tomorrow as it’s supposed to rain, and a lot of us want to know whether further damages caused by the rain could also be covered by insurance, and we were able to have answers to some of our questions,” said Ahmed Housni, 27, who lives on rue Radisson, one of the areas most devastated by the tornado.
Babinsky said IBC has been assisting people since Saturday, answering questions and tracking down insurance companies when needed.
“We have helped people who did not have cellphones with them and who did not know who they were insured with,” he said. “We were able to lend them phones and track down their insurance companies to activate the process.”
Three days after the storm, more than 1,300 people had registered at the emergency shelter, including 437 families, the City of Gatineau said.
Two meetings will take place on Tuesday with the Red Cross and victims who don’t have insurance from 2 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at Gatineau City Hall.
Source: Ottawa Citizen