BC Wildfire (2017)

Canada’s property and casualty (P&C) insurance industry is responding to the needs of their customers in the evolving wildfire emergency in British Columbia.

July 11, 2017 (VANCOUVER) – Canada's property and casualty (P&C) insurance industry is responding to the needs of their customers in the evolving wildfire emergency in British Columbia.

Following the provincial declaration of a state of emergency due to wildfires burning out of control throughout much of the interior, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), the national trade association that represents Canada's 200 P&C insurers, deployed its Community Assistance Mobile Pavilion (CAMP) to the Kamloops region. CAMP staff will provide insurance information and advice to those affected by the fire. 

IBC's CAMP is set up on site following disaster to answer insurance-related questions and help evacuation victims get started on the claims process during a time when they need help the most," said Aaron Sutherland, IBC Vice-President, Pacific.  "Our thoughts are with those whose lives have been disrupted and whose property is at risk. The priority right now is the safety of those affected and their loved ones.

IBC staff will answer insurance-related questions and help affected residents get in touch with their insurance representative to begin the claims process.  Residents can visit CAMP at:

  • The Williams Lake Resiliency Centre at Boitanio Mall, 850 Oliver St.

Sutherland added, "IBC is here to help. We don't settle claims but we help people start the claims process and get the answers they need at a difficult time."

In addition, policyholders can contact their insurance representative or the IBC Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2ask-IBC or askibcwest@ibc.ca

What insurance covers

Most home and business insurance policies cover fire damage. If residents have to leave their homes because of a mandatory evacuation order issued by civil authorities, most homeowner's and tenant's insurance policies will provide coverage for reasonable additional living expenses for a specified period of time. Your insurance representative is at the ready to clarify the details of your policy.

The claims process

If you have been affected by a wildfire, when 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. Take photos of the damage and keep damaged items unless they pose a health hazard.
  • Keep all of the receipts related to cleanup, and if you've been ordered to leave your home, keep the receipts for your living expenses.
  • Ask your insurance representative what living expenses you're entitled to be reimbursed for and for what period of time.

Next steps

  • 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, with the corresponding value or cost of the damage or loss. 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.


TIP Sheets 

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 www.ibc.ca  or email askibcwest@ibc.ca.