This is the month of the Great ShakeOut, and the Insurance Bureau of Canada is unveiling the results of a recent poll showing that just 8% of Quebecers think their home is at risk of damage because of an earthquake.
Know the risk to be better prepared
Of concern also is that 33% of them believe, mistakenly, that they are insured for earthquake risk, while only 4% of policyholders actually have coverage for this risk.** “These results are worrying when we know that Quebec has already experienced strong magnitude quakes and that the risk of a new one is only too real. The impact would be significant for the citizens affected and for the Quebec economy”, noted Pierre Babinsky, Director, Communications and Public Affairs, at IBC.
Virtual reality to create risk awareness
IBC’s awareness activities are ongoing and it is innovating to offer a unique virtual reality experience that allows participants to experience the impact of a quake from home.
The realistic experience and emotions created will allow Quebecers to experience the very real consequences of a quake in a home. “We fine tuned this tool so that it offers a realistic immersion for the participant. It’s a way of drawing attention to personal and material safety issues resulting from a quake”, added Mr. Babinsky.
The experience will be presented to the media and the public on October 16, 2019. For more information, please check our media invitation (in French only).
Three steps to protect yourself
Drop, Cover (under solid piece of furniture) and Hold On! These are the three steps to take in case of a quake, and the virtual reality experience shows how relevant they are.
In fact, these steps are practiced during the Great ShakeOut, an international drill held every year. There is still time to register free of charge on line to take part in this simulation on October 17, at 10.17 a.m.
* SOM Inc. poll carried out for Insurance Bureau of Canada, October 2019
** Earthquake coverage is added to the home insurance policy under an endorsement.
About Insurance Bureau of Canada
Insurance Bureau of Canada, which groups the majority of Canada’s P&C insurers, offers various services to consumers in order to inform and assist them when purchasing car or home insurance, or making a claim. For all other information, go to our website at bac-quebec.qc.ca/en/
SOURCE Insurance Bureau of Canada
By Cindy White
CALGARY (660 NEWS) – What would happen to insurance companies if Canada is hit by a major catastrophe?
While the Calgary floods of 2013 and the Fort McMurray wildfire hit insurance companies hard, a report from the University of Calgary warns larger disasters could lead to the financial collapse of the industry.
Risk Management Professor Anne Klefner said when you have a multi-billion dollar event, it could see some firms crumble.
“For any insurer that becomes insolvent, the rest of the insurance industry then is assessed in order to pay the liabilities of the now insolvent insurers. It’s that which ultimately creates this domino effect.”
Flefner believes as many as 18 insurance companies could go bankrupt following major disasters, leaving property owners in the lurch or governments having to pick up the tab for recovery.
The Insurance Bureau of Canada estimates about $3.7 billion in insured damages came from the Fort McMurray fires, making it the costliest disaster in Canadian history.
The southern Alberta floods cost insurance companies $1.6 billion.
In 2017, the IBC said losses due to natural disasters have increased dramatically over the last ten years.
Klefner said an earthquake in places like Vancouver or Montreal, could cause $35 billion in damages.
“We’re talking about events much, much larger than what we’ve seen to date. Much bigger than Fort McMurray, for example. The idea is there is limited capacity, so although it’s high, it’s not unlimited.”
Canada is the only G7 nation that doesn’t have a federal government plan to help the insurance industry as a whole deal with mega catastrophes.
The short answer, unfortunately, is “that depends.” Here are the variables that come into play when homeowners seek water damage protection.
Q: My washing machine has been leaking for years and we only just learned of the leak and the resulting damage because of staining on our basement ceiling below. Will my home insurance cover this?
A: While water damage is almost always the same—destroyed floors, mouldy drywall, and potentially destroyed electrical and heating systems—the cause can significantly change whether or not the damage is covered by your insurance.
Turns out, how water enters your home dictates whether or not the damage will be paid by you, out of pocket, or covered by your home insurance policy.
This should cause all homeowners concern. Why? Because flooding happens so frequently. Setting aside the incidental floods, such as pipes breaking or washing machines leaking, natural floods, such as those caused by snowmelt runoff or raised river banks, occur fives times as often as wildfires. In fact, natural overland floods are the second most frequent natural disaster in Canada, according to Dan Sandink, director of research at the Institute of Catastrophic Loss Reduction (ICLR).
Sadly, residents in Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick are now intimately aware of how devastating a flood can be to both property as well as to someone’s financial well-being. In April 2019, CTV Newscalculated that 6,425 homes had been flooded in Quebec alone. Another 3,508 were surrounded by water. Another 21 Ottawa homes were voluntarily evacuated, while 80 roads in New Brunswick had been closed.
According to Canadian Forces, 2,000 troops were deployed to Eastern Canada to help with flood efforts, and more than one million sandbags were used in the nation’s capital, Ottawa.
This doesn’t bode well for homeowners across Canada, who will eventually feel the burden of rising premiums to cover insured losses. This is on top of the $1.9 billion in insured losses that Canadians already sustained in 2018—the fourth-highest amount on record, according to the Insurance Bureau of Canada.
What’s worse is knowing that a standard homeowners’ policy (or tenant insurance) doesn’t provide coverage in the event of flood damage. While government relief may be available for uninsurable damage, that relief is often slow to materialize and insufficient to cover the cost of repair, leaving families to pick up the pieces.
You may be able to purchase flood insurance—known as overland coverage—depending on whether or not you live in a flood-prone zone. And even if it is available in your area, however, you must also purchase sewer back-up coverage, which is typically far more available.
But what about floods that are not caused by natural disasters? What about the floods caused by burst pipes or cracked foundations or, in your case, Alison, a leaky washing machine?
In general, standard (also known as comprehensive) homeowners’ insurance may help cover damage caused by leaking plumbing if the leak is sudden and accidental, such as if a washing machine supply hose suddenly breaks or a pipe bursts. Keep in mind, this sudden, accidental flood cannot occur when the home is vacant for more than 48 hours (for some insurance providers this drops to 24 hours), which is why it’s important to have a trusted friend or family member check on your home every day or so to make sure everything is alright while you are away on vacation.
But what about slow leaks? Turns out this is where coverage gets grey and fuzzy. While most policies won’t cover damage resulting from poor maintenance—for instance, damage due to a leaking toilet you failed to repair— that doesn’t mean that all slow leaks are denied coverage.
What follows will help you understand when you’re covered, versus what’s your responsibility.
READ MORE HERE:
HALIFAX, Sept. 9, 2019 /CNW/ – In the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is reaching out with tips and advice for those who have been affected.
“We know is that there has been significant damage across the region, and a lot of families have had their lives disrupted. When you are able to call, your insurer is ready to hear the details of your claim,” said Amanda Dean, Vice-President, Atlantic, IBC.
What insurance covers
Most car, home and business insurance policies cover damage caused by a hurricane or tropical storm. Your insurance representative is at the ready to clarify the details of your policies.
The claims process
If you have been affected by Hurricane Dorian, when it is safe to do so, take the following steps:
- Assess and document the damage. Taking photos can be helpful.
- Call your insurance representative and/or company.
- List all damaged or destroyed items.
- If possible, assemble proofs of purchase, photos, receipts and warranties. Keep damaged items unless they pose a health hazard.
- If you have to move out of your home because of insured damage, check with your insurance representative about whether your policy includes additional living expenses coverage, which may cover your costs if you have to move into a hotel/motel.
- Once you have reported a loss, you will be assigned a claims adjuster. It may take some time given the number of people affected by Dorian, but you will be contacted.
- The claims adjuster will investigate the circumstances of the loss, examine the documents you provide and explain the process. Take notes during these conversations and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Anyone with questions should contact their insurance representative or, for general information, contact IBC’s Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2ask-IBC.
IBC.ca – severe weather
IBC.ca – Preparing for severe weather
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 128,000 Canadians, pays $9.4 billion in taxes and has a total premium base of $59.6 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