VANCOUVER /CNW/ – As wildfire season has begun, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is reaching out with tips and advice.
What insurance covers?
Most home and business insurance policies cover fire damage. If residents have to leave their homes because of a mandatory evacuation order issued by civil authorities, most home and tenant’s insurance policies will provide coverage for reasonable additional living expenses for a specified period of time. Your insurance representative is at the ready to clarify the details of your policies.
The claims process
If you have been affected by a wildfire, when safe to do so, take the following steps:
• Assess and document the damage. Taking photos can be helpful.
• Call your insurance representative and/or company.
• List all damaged or destroyed items.
• If possible, assemble proofs of purchase, photos, receipts and warranties. Take photos of the damage and keep damaged items unless they pose a health hazard.
• Keep all of the receipts related to cleanup, and if you’ve been displaced, keep the receipts for your living expenses.
• Ask your insurance representative what living expenses you’re entitled to and for what period of time.
Once you have reported a loss, you will be assigned a claims adjuster. It may take some time given the number of people affected by the wildfires, 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 during the conversations and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Your insurance company will 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. You must sign and swear that the statements you make in the proof of loss are true. Ask your insurance representative or claims adjuster to clarify anything you are unsure about.
Anyone with questions should contact their insurance representative or, for more information contact IBC’s Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2ask-IBC
For wildfire safety and prevention tips, click here or visit http://bcwildfire.ca/index.htm for updates and helpful tips on how to prevent wildfires from the Government of BC.
For information on preventing wildfires in your community, visit http://iclr.org/images/ICLR_-_Wildfire_Brochure_-_English_Final.pdf
Insurance Bureau of Canada Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is the national industry association representing Canada’s private home, auto and business insurers.