Insurance Bureau of Canada Advice and Information Following Manitoba Storm

October 15, 2019 (Edmonton) – In the aftermath of the snow and windstorm that hammered Manitoba over the weekend, knocking down trees and leaving thousands without heat or power, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is reaching out with tips and advice for those affected.

“We know this storm has caused significant difficulties across the province and our thoughts are with the families who have had their lives disrupted. When you are able to call, your insurance representative is ready to help you with your claim," said Celyeste Power, Vice-President, Western, IBC.

What insurance covers

Most home and business insurance policies cover damage caused by storms, including damage caused by snow and wind. Your insurance representative is at the ready to clarify the details of your policy.

The claims process

If you have been affected by the Manitoba storm and power outages and, if it is safe to do so, take the following steps:

  • Assess and document the damage. Taking photos is 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 provides additional living expenses coverage, which may cover your costs if you have to move into a hotel/motel.

Damages to refrigerator and freezer contents

  • Your refrigerator, freezer and their contents may be covered for damage related to food spoilage caused by a power interruption. Typically, in this situation, your freezer and its contents are insured for a specified amount. Check your policy.
  • Before disposing of food from your freezer, make a list and take photos of the contents for insurance purposes.
  • If you suspect your fridge or freezer is contaminated by food spoilage or other damage related to the storm, speak to your insurer before discarding the appliance.
  • If your insurer agrees that the refrigerator or freezer must be replaced, the cost of de-gassing and disposing of the appliance is typically covered under the debris-removal portion of your policy.

Next steps

  • Once you have reported a loss, you will be assigned a claims adjuster. It may take some time, 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.

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 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.