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Severe windstorm leaves thousands without power in Newfoundland and Labrador: IBC provides tips to homeowners



November 15, 2018 (St. John’s) – Heavy winds in the Atlantic provinces over the last 48 hours left thousands of households without power. This outage comes on the heels of another large power outage that resulted from a windstorm just one week ago. Newfoundland and Labrador bore the brunt of the storm with gusts reaching 140km/hr. Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is reaching out with tips and advice for those who have been affected.

“We sympathize with anyone who has property damage from this windstorm or who has been affected by it in other ways," said Amanda Dean, Vice-President, Atlantic, IBC. “Our first priority is the safety of anyone affected by this event. If there is a need to submit an insurance claim, individuals should contact their insurance representative, who will help clarify their coverage and guide them through the claims process.”

If you are without power

  • Make the safety of you and your family your first priority.
  • Take measures to prevent fires and the inhalation of fumes when using auxiliary forms of heat and power.
  • Test and maintain smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure they are working properly.
  • Pay attention to messages and instructions from local authorities, and monitor weather developments regularly.

What insurance covers

Most home and business insurance policies usually cover damage caused by a windstorm. Speak with your insurance representative to review the specifics of your policy.

Wind damage caused by a tree or branch falling on a house, shed or fence is covered under most homeowner’s policies. As well, most homeowner’s policies cover loss of freezer contents in the event of an extended power outage. As with other coverages, these types of losses may be subject to a deductible, so it’s important to know the terms and conditions of your individual policy.

Reporting a claim

If you have been affected by the windstorm, when safe to do so, take the following steps:

  • Assess and document 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.
  • Keep all of the receipts related to cleanup. If your home is not fit to live in, keep the receipts for your additional living expenses.
  • Ask your insurance representative what additional living expenses you may be entitled to and for what period of time.

Next steps

  • Once you have reported your loss, you will be assigned a claims adjuster. It may take some time, given the number of people affected by the windstorm, 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 the conversations and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Resources

Anyone with questions about their individual policy should contact their insurance representative. Those who require more general information can contact IBC's Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2ask-IBC or visit IBC.ca/disaster.


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 126,000 Canadians, pays $9 billion in taxes and has a total premium base of $54.7 billion.

For media releases and more information, visit IBC's Media Centre at www.ibc.ca. Follow IBC on Twitter @IBC_Atlantic and 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 (1-844-227-5422).