IBC tells flood-affected New Brunswick homeowners to contact their insurers

Published: April 30, 2018

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones



The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) says residents who have been affected by flooding in New Brunswick should speak to their insurance provide and report any damage they may have. Floods hit the region over the weekend, likely causing water damage for homeowners and tenants.

The St. John River in New Brunswick broke its flood level on Saturday, reaching 8.2 metres, 1.7 metres above the flood stage. On Sunday it reduced slightly to 8.1 metres, but remained significantly above safe levels. The New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization announced water levels have since stabilized, but the river will stay high and all areas along the St. John River basin could get floods.

“We have seen the devastating effects that flooding can have on communities,” said Erin Norwood, IBC Government Relations Manager. “Warming temperatures, melting snow and heavy rain add to the problem. IBC is reiterating the need for everyone to be on alert and to stay safe. We want to help make sure New Brunswick residents are prepared and ready to deal with the potential damages.”

Atlantic Canada has more access to overland flood insurance protection, so the IBC says consumers with coverage should take time to understand their policies. It could be the difference between a correct or incorrect claim. The bureau tells homeowners with water damage from overland flooding to contact their carrier, while the IBC is also on hand for advice:

“IBC’s Consumer Information Centre is available to answer any insurance-related questions that affected individuals might have. Contact us at 1-844-2ask-IBC. We’re here to help,” added Norwood.

In the meantime, the IBC had offered advice on starting the claims process and protecting properties during flooding.

If you have a claim, this is how to start the claims process:

  • When safe to do so, assess and document damage.
  • Call your insurance representative and/or company to report damage or losses.
  • Be as detailed as possible when providing information.
  • Water damage to vehicles is usually covered under comprehensive or all-perils auto insurance policies. Contact your insurance representative for details.  
  • If you need help getting in touch with your insurer, contact IBC's Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2ask-IBC (1-844-227-5422).


Help protect your property from water damage:

  • Store valuable items on upper floors of your home, not in the basement.
  • Have large appliances, furnaces, hot water heaters and electrical panels raised up on wood or cement blocks. If you’re unable to do so, consider anchoring these items and protecting them with a floodwall or shield.

•             Anchor fuel tanks to the floor. A fuel tank can tip over or float in a flood, causing fuel to spill or catch fire. Make sure vents and fill-line openings are above flood levels. For propane tanks, contact the propane company and ask about the best storage methods.

•             If flooding is imminent, shut off electricity to areas of the home that may be affected. Use sand bags or install flood shields or built-up barriers for basement windows and doors.

•             Create an emergency preparedness plan with your family.

•             Assemble an emergency supply kit.

•             Prepare a detailed home inventory.

•             Pay attention to local authorities and monitor weather developments regularly.

•             Avoid roads that are covered by water.