Newfoundland Winter Storm: Advice and Information from Insurance Bureau of Canada

January 22, 2020 (HALIFAX) – In the aftermath of last weekend's record-breaking storm in Newfoundland and Labrador, which brought more than 75 cm of snow and winds reaching hurricane levels of 160 km/hour, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is offering tips and advice for those who have been affected.

"To say that the recent blizzard disrupted the lives of many families across the province is an understatement. When you are able to safely assess any damage the storm may have caused to your property, your insurer is ready to take your call and to hear the details of any potential claims," said Amanda Dean, Vice-President, Atlantic, IBC.

Safety Tips

Only if safe to do so, here's what we recommend:

  • Clear snow from your roof and deck to avoid potential collapse, or hire a professional to clear the snow.
  • Keep snow and ice clear of natural gas or propane meters, exhaust vents and basement window wells.
  • Safely clear snow away from all windows.
  • If you need to drive, make sure to clear all snow and ice from your vehicle before you start out. Drive according to the conditions.
  • Keep your sidewalk and the front stairs of your house clear of snow and ice to prevent falls and injuries.

The claims process

If you have been affected by the winter storm, take the following steps (remembering to put safety first):

  • Assess and document any damage. Taking photos can be helpful. 
  • Create a list all damaged or destroyed items. 
  • Call your insurance representative and/or insurance company. 
  • 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 includes additional living expenses coverage, which may cover your additional costs if you have to move into a hotel/motel.

Next steps

  • Once you have reported a loss, you will be assigned a claims adjuster.
  • You must ensure that nothing results in further damage. For example, covering any broken windows, as best possible, if it is safe to do so.
  • 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 (1-844-227-5422).

Additional resources

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_Atlantic 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.