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Severe Weather

Insurance Bureau of Canada Cautions Ontario Residents to Prepare for Winter Storm

Mar 3, 2023 | ON
Insurance Bureau of Canada Cautions Ontario Residents to Prepare for Winter Storm News Article Placeholder Image

With Environment Canada predicting heavy snowfall in combination with strong easterly winds across the Greater Toronto Area and parts of Southern Ontario tonight, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is sharing tips to help you keep your family and property safe.

“As we’ve seen in the past, winter storms have the potential to cause extensive damage. Being prepared for any severe weather event is important for your personal safety and financial security,” said Kim Donaldson, Vice-President, Ontario, IBC. “We encourage residents to take a few simple steps now to help protect their property from damage."

IBC’s Top 10 Winter Storm Tips

  1. Avoid driving if possible. If you have to drive, clear all snow and ice from your vehicle before you start out. Drive according to the road conditions and give snowplows and other vehicles plenty of space.
  2. Create an emergency preparedness plan for your family and assemble disaster safety kits for your home, car and office. Make sure you have extra windshield cleaner.
  3. Prepare for power outages. Have flashlights and portable lighting ready. When using candles, always be mindful of fire hazards.
  4. Charge electronics and have backup power sources available.
  5. Once the snowfall has ended, keep your sidewalk and the front stairs of your house clear of snow and ice.
  6. Keep snow away from gas meters, gas appliance vents, exhaust vents and basement windows.
  7. Park vehicles in a garage, if possible.
  8. Inspect your attic for frost accumulation, and check your eavestroughs and roof for potential ice dams or icicles.
  9. Move valuable items out of your basement to higher levels in your home, in case of flooding.
  10. Have someone check your property if you are away.

Rest Easier. Know What’s Covered.

Talk to your insurance representative to make sure you have appropriate coverage. Now is a good time to remind yourself of the policy that you have in place by reviewing the list below.

  • Water damage in a basement due to a sewer backup is only covered if you have purchased specific, optional sewer backup coverage.
  • Overland flood damage, which occurs when bodies of water such as rivers overflow onto dry land, is only covered if you have purchased specific, optional overland flood coverage. However, if you live in a known flood plain, this coverage may not be available.
  • Damage to homes caused by wind is usually covered. This includes damage caused by flying debris or falling branches or trees, or damage caused by water entering through openings.
  • If you have purchased comprehensive or all perils automobile insurance coverage, damage to vehicles from wind is usually covered. This coverage is not mandatory, so check your policy.
  • In certain circumstances, homeowners who are unable to return home due to insured damage are entitled to additional living expenses.


Anyone with questions about their individual policy should contact their insurance representative.

For general insurance information, contact IBC's Consumer Information Centre at 1‑844-2ask-IBC (1-844-227-5422 ext. 228) or 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.