Insurance advice and information following May 21 severe storm in Ontario and Quebec

May 24, 2022 (TORONTO) – Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) has deployed its virtual Community Assistance Mobile Pavilion (CAMP) to assist residents impacted by a destructive and deadly storm that swept through Southern Ontario and parts of Quebec on Saturday, May 21.

"This severe weather event resulted in a tragic loss of life, and our hearts go out to the families and friends coping with tremendous grief during this difficult time," said Kim Donaldson, Vice-President, Ontario, IBC. "There has also been wide-spread destruction to property and public infrastructure. While recovery efforts continue, rest assured that anyone whose property or vehicle was damaged can contact their insurance representative when they are ready to start the claims process. Those with general insurance questions are encouraged to contact IBC's Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2ask-IBC." 

The powerful storm, described as a 'derecho', was far-reaching, and impacted a densely populated corridor across Southern Ontario and into Quebec. States of emergency remain in place in some communities, and many are still without power.

As insurers serve as "second responders" in the recovery period after catastrophe strikes, IBC's virtual CAMP is staffed with trained insurance industry personnel who are on hand at IBC's Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2ask-IBC (1-844-227-5422) or to help address consumers' questions about their home, business, or vehicle insurance policy.

Every policy is different. Know what your insurance covers

Your insurance representative can confirm the coverage you have with your current policy and any potential deductible. Damage to homes caused by a windstorm and rain, is usually covered, such as:

  • Losses caused by flying debris or fallen trees and/or branches.
  • Losses to your home and contents from water entering through openings suddenly caused by wind.
  • Damage to vehicles from wind or water, if you have comprehensive coverage as part of your policy. This coverage is optional, so check with your insurance representative to see what coverage you have purchased.
  • Your refrigerator, freezer and their contents may be covered for damage related to food spoilage caused by an accidental power interruption. Typically, in this situation, your freezer and its contents are insured for a specified amount. Check your policy.
  • In certain circumstances, homeowners who are unable to stay in their homes because of insured damage may be entitled to additional living expenses. Check with your insurance representative to find out what your policy covers.

Tips for starting the claims process

When it is safe, take these steps to begin the insurance claims process:

  • Assess and document the damage. Taking photos can be helpful.
  • Call your insurance representative or your insurer's claims department to report your damage.
  • If possible, assemble proofs of purchase, photos, receipts and warranties. Keep damaged items unless they pose a health hazard.
  • Keep notes and be as detailed as possible when documenting damage and providing information.
  • Ask your insurance representative whether you are entitled to additional living expenses, if required and for what period of time.
  • Keep all receipts related to cleanup. If you've been displaced, keep the receipts for your additional living expenses.

Next steps

Once you have reported a loss, you will be assigned a claims adjuster by your insurance company. Given the number of people affected by the severe storm, 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 and ask questions during these conversations.

Your insurance company might 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. Ask your insurance representative or claims adjuster to clarify anything you are unsure about.

For more insurance information related to wind damage and severe weather, visit:

About Insurance Bureau of Canada

Insurance Bureau of Canada is the national industry association representing Canada's private home, auto and business insurers. Its member companies make up the vast majority 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.  

For media releases and more information, visit IBC's Media Centre at Follow us on Twitter @InsuranceBureau 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.