Wildfires in British Columbia: IBC provides insurance information to affected residents – Safety remains first priority

July 2, 2021 (VANCOUVER) – As more and more communities in British Columbia are being threatened by wildfire, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is reaching out with information and advice.

“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 have been destroyed,” said Aaron Sutherland, Vice-President, Western & Pacific, IBC. “The insurance industry is here to help. Anyone with questions about their home or business insurance can call their insurance representative or call IBC's Consumer Information Centre at 1‑844‑2ask‑IBC.”

What insurance covers

Standard home and business insurance policies cover fire damage and additional living expenses – for things like food, shelter, and clothing – if residents have to leave their homes because of a mandatory evacuation order issued by civil authorities. 

Mass evacuation or state of emergency

If you've been ordered to leave your home, keep the receipts for your living expenses. Most homeowner's and tenant's insurance policies cover any reasonable additional living expenses for a specified period of time.

Ask your insurance representative about the amount of living expenses you're entitled to claim.

How to start the claims process

Once the evacuation order is lifted and it is safe to return to your home, if your property has been damaged by wildfire, take the following steps before contacting your insurance representative:

  • Assess and document the damage. Take photos and make a list of all damaged or destroyed items as best you can.
  • Keep damaged items unless they pose a health hazard.
  • If possible, assemble proofs of purchase, photos, receipts, owners’ manuals or warranties for damaged items.
  • Keep all of the receipts related to cleanup and for your living expenses while you were evacuated.

Next steps – what to expect

  • 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 the wildfires, but you will be contacted.
  • The claims adjuster will investigate the circumstances of your loss, examine the documents you provide and explain the process. Take notes during the conversations and don't be afraid to ask questions.
  • Your insurance company will ask you to complete a Proof of Loss form to list the property and/or items that have been damaged or destroyed.
  • You must sign and swear that the statements you make in the Proof of Loss form are true.
  • Ask your insurance representative or claims adjuster to clarify anything you are unsure about.


Anyone with questions should contact their insurance representative or IBC's Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2ask-IBC.

For additional information, consumers can also visit BC Wildfires or email askibcwest@ibc.ca.

Wildfires - 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.

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.