IBC Offers Home Insurance Advice After Atlantic Canada Blizzard

Published: February 15, 2017

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones



The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is advising consumers to ensure their policies cover them for winter-weather related damages. The bureau posted a note on its website as an advisory to help customers determine what their level of coverage is. The note also explains what specific coverages there are and how certain policies cover against inclement weather.

IBC advisors say the note has been prompted by the recent blizzard event that occurred in Atlantic Canada. Earlier this week and over the weekend, Atlantic Canada was brought to a standstill by a major blizzard that swept across the region, depositing snow and ice pellets. Winds of 120 kilometres per hour also caused damage to properties along the Atlantic coast.

In is advisory, the IBC acknowledges the impact winter snows can have on Canadians and says knowing what insurance is in place can be or vital importance:

"Major winter storms can be difficult for families and communities and they can wreak havoc on homes and properties," said IBC vice-president, Atlantic Amanda Dean. "Knowing what your insurance policy covers when bad weather strikes can make a world of a difference. If you have insurance questions, contact your insurance representative or IBC's Consumer Information Centre. We're here to help."

In the post, the bureau listed some of the most common problems homeowners face when severe winter weather hits. The list also includes coverage options.

  • Damage to properties caused by snow, hail, or wind is usually covered by home insurance. Damage caused by windswept debris, falling branches, and water/snow flooding also qualifies.
  • Mobile homes or trailers damaged by the wind may be covered, depending on the insurer.
  • Vehicles damaged by ice, wind, or water is usually covered – but only if the policy is comprehensive.
  • Overland flooding is not typically covered by standard home insurance policies, but specific coverage may be available from some insurers. Water damage caused by sewer backup may be covered if it is included in a policy.
  • Water damage resulting from an accumulation of ice or snow on a roof is only covered is specific coverage was purchased.
  • The damage caused by leaking burst pipes causes is covered by most residential policies, but the cost of repairing the pipes is not. If the water damage is the result of freezing pipes, it may not be covered.
  • Homeowners unable to live in their homes because of insured damage are entitled to the recovery of additional living expenses.
  • Food spoilage caused by power outages may be covered.

Finally, the IBC advises customers to contact their insurance provider for full information and understanding on their homeowner policy.

SOURCE: http://www.ibc.ca/on