IBC deploys Virtual Community Assistance Mobile Pavilion to assist in British Columbia floods

November 15, 2021 (VANCOUVER) – Heavy rains over the weekend and into Monday have caused significant flooding and forced evacuations across southern British Columbia, including in Merritt, Princeton, and Abbotsford. As insurers serve as 'second responders' in the recovery period after catastrophe strikes, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) has deployed its virtual Community Assistance Mobile Pavilion (CAMP) to assist affected residents with insurance questions and concerns. IBC sets up CAMP in disaster sites that have significant damage so that individuals who are suddenly forced to cope with a damaging event – such as a flood, wildfire, severe storm, or other disaster – can more easily access insurance-related information. 

CAMP is staffed with trained insurance industry personnel who are on hand at IBC's Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2ask-IBC (1-844-227-5422) to help address consumers' questions about their home, business, or vehicle insurance policy. 

"The priority right now is the safety of those affected and their loved ones. Our thoughts are with those whose lives have been disrupted and whose homes or businesses have been damaged or destroyed following the heavy rains," said Aaron Sutherland, Vice-President, Western and Pacific, IBC. "Canada's insurers are here to help. Severe weather events like these cause significant turmoil and stress for homeowners. Roughly half of British Columbians have added flood coverage to their home insurance policy. However, flood insurance is fairly new to the market and can have limited availability in high-risk areas." 

Historically in Canada, home insurance policies haven't covered loss or damage caused by overland flooding. This is no longer the case – many insurers now offer residential overland flood coverage as an add-on to standard home insurance policies.  

Importantly, 5% of BC homeowners are unable to purchase flood insurance because they live in an area that is too high risk. To address this issue, IBC is working closely with the federal and provincial governments to create an affordable flood insurance solution for all Canadians. These recent floods add to the growing evidence that there is an urgent need to create a national flood insurance solution. 

What is covered?

  • Flood coverage is optional and typically covers specific types of water damage, such as the overflow of lakes, ponds or rivers; surface water from heavy rainfall or melting snow; and ground water or the rising of the water table, causing water to enter a home at the ground level or by seeping through windows, doors and walls.
  • Damage to vehicles from wind or water is typically covered if you purchased comprehensive or all perils car insurance.
  • IBC recommends that consumers reach out to their insurance representative to understand the extent of their insurance coverage. 

What should I do if the storm damaged my property?

Once it is safe to do so, consumers should:

  • Assess the damage and contact their insurance representative. Most insurers have 24-hour claims services.
  • Be as detailed as possible when providing information on damage.
  • List all damaged items; assemble proofs of purchase/receipts or warranties, if possible, and take pictures of damaged property.
  • Keep all receipts related to cleanup and other expenses resulting from the event. 

How can I make a claim?

Consumers can take the following steps to begin the insurance claims process:

  1. Assess and document the damage. Taking photos can be helpful.
  2. Contact your insurance representative to report the damage. Document who you spoke to and when you spoke to them.
  3. Keep notes and be as detailed as possible when providing information. Be sure to keep all receipts related to cleanup.

If you need further information about home, business, or car insurance, contact IBC's Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2ask-IBC (1-844-227-5422) or askibcwest@ibc.ca.

For more insurance information related to flood damage and other severe weather events, visit IBC.ca.

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.

For media releases and more information, visit IBC's Media Centre at www.ibc.ca. Follow us on Twitter @IBC_Pacific  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.