Slave Lake

​​​The wildfire destroyed 374 properties and damaged another 52 – almost 33% of the town was ravaged.

​From May 14 to 16, 2011, destructive wildfires consumed Slave Lake, Alberta. Insured damage caused by the fires amounted to more than $700 million, making this the second-costliest insured disaster in Canadian history at the time. This fire’s devastation is exceeded only by the more than $1.8 billion (figure adjusted for inflation) ice storm that hit Quebec and Ontario in 1998 and the $3.2 billion in insured damage for the 2013 Alberta floods. Thankfully, no deaths or serious injuries were reported as a result of the wildfire.

Helping Residents Keep Calm and Carry On 

IBC’s Community Assistance Mobile Pavilion (CAMP) is one of a number of initiatives by Canada’s home, car and business insurers to help Canadians prepare for, and cope with, disasters. The national program provides disaster victims with on-site, quick-response information related to insurance. Deployed at Slave Lake and staffed with IBC representatives, CAMP gave residents access to assistance and support from emergency experts. 

Insurers Deliver Emergency Assistance

Recognizing the extensive damage to homes, personal property, businesses and public buildings, insurance companies were at the evacuation centres within 36 hours of the fire to help affected residents. 

Many insurance companies also brought in extra staff to Slave Lake – some from out of the province – to start issuing cheques to residents to cover their daily needs, as well as to immediately begin processing claims. Due to the extent of the claims and the limited availability of skilled tradespeople and labour for demolition and rebuilding in this small community, the recovery process took months to complete.

Coping with the Aftermath: How Insurance Helps

  • Most home and business insurance policies will cover fire damage.
  • Home and tenant’s policies policies in certain circumstances provide coverage for additional living expenses if a residence is uninhabitable because of an insured loss.

​After a disaster, contact y​our insurance representative as soon as possible to discuss your coverage and deductibles and to report damage claims. To facilitate claims processing, document all property losses. And, if safe to do so, protect your property from further damage.