Fiona Insurance Pay: What you need to know before making a claim Pipa News

Fiona Insurance Pay: What you need to know before making a claim

Post-Tropical Storm Hurricane Fiona left a trail of devastation on its way through Atlantic Canada last weekend, with homeowners picking up pieces from damaged roofs, fallen trees and flooded homes.

As first responders, Canadian military members and volunteers continue to clear roads and care for the displaced, the phones of insurance companies in the East have begun to ring.

“Insurers are usually second responders when it comes to these types of large-scale incidents,” says Atlantic Amanda Dean, vice president of the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC).

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Dean told his home in Halifax that it would be weeks before the full extent and cost of Fiona’s damages is known, while much of the storm’s damage remains, like hundreds of thousands of homes in the east left without electricity on Monday.

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But while the ballpark figure is also days away, she says the “widespread” impact of the storm will result in a hefty insurance payout – the damage was felt in the eastern parts of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Quebec. went. ,

“I think we can expect some impressive numbers from this event,” she tells Global News.

Which hurricane damage is covered by insurance?

Don’t bother scanning your insurance policies for “hurricane” or “tropical storm” coverage—these aren’t categories that really exist in the Canadian insurance landscape, says Kelsey Hawk, a expert.

Typical home insurance policies will include coverage for wind damage, Hawk says, which will cover debris such as fallen trees and torn siding from a home.

Click to play video: 'Hurricane Fiona devastated Atlantic Canada'

Hurricane Fiona devastated Atlantic Canada

Hurricane Fiona devastated Atlantic Canada

However, things get a little trickier when it comes to water damage.

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Overland flooding – referring to damage caused by rising water levels from a nearby river or other pooling rainwater source – and sewer back-up coverage are usually optional. Check your policy to see if you are covered by this type of damage, if you have these additional supports.

The IBC notes in a Hurricane Round-up post that some homes built in known floodplains may not qualify for overland flood protection.

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But both Hawke and Dean note that another type of damage seen in the viral video that aired last weekend is likely not to be covered.

Damage caused by a “hurricane surge” impact, or specifically saltwater impact, is not typically offered as a coverage option in Canada, Hawk says.

“So tidal waves, any kind of water that breaks banks and damages the home that way, saltwater-related, is often excluded on a home insurance policy in Canada,” she says.

One notable exemption is that for automobile policies that have extra comprehensive or all perils coverage, saltwater or storm damage will be covered.

But Dean says some mariners who see meter-high waves hitting shore and taking some or all of their homes out to sea are likely to be in the middle.

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Click to play video: 'Storm Fiona: Newfoundland's Port aux Basque devastated by heavy waves'

Hurricane Fiona: Newfoundland’s Port aux Basque devastated by heavy waves

Hurricane Fiona: Newfoundland’s Port aux Basque devastated by heavy waves

“I know we have certainly seen some devastating photos and videos and our thoughts are at the forefront with those who have been affected. But that is not usually covered under home insurance policies,” she says. .

People who have been displaced by the effects of a hurricane or an evacuation order may have coverage for additional living expenses, and may be reimbursed for housing while they wait for their homes to be repaired – these claims are made to homeowners. All receipts relating to displacement should be kept for .

Some politicians have also promised to increase financial aid for those affected by Fiona.

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Quebec Premier Francois Legault said the province would offer financial help to those who have suffered material damage, but says the important thing now is that people are safe.

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“I want to reassure the Quebecers still living there: We will ensure a program to make up the difference for everything that is not insurable by regular insurance,” Legault said last weekend.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who plans to visit affected areas this week, said on Monday that his government would work as a “partner” with provinces and municipalities for financial aid, but did not provide specifics. Didn’t.

“As we look to rebuild, as we look to rebuild,” he said.

How long will it take to process my claim?

Homeowners hoping for a quick payment and resolution after the storm may be disappointed.

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Dean says insurers are expecting “heavy call volume” in the coming days, but encourages residents to be patient and try again if they hit a busy signal.

While the general advice is to call as soon as possible and document the damage with photos or a list of items, Dean says there is no set timeline for which claims have to be filed and some of the Atlantic provinces More time may be needed to assess your condition.

Click to play video: 'Atlantic Canada expects slow recovery after Fiona outbreak'

Atlantic Canada expects slow recovery after Fiona outbreak

Atlantic Canada expects slow recovery after Fiona outbreak

“If someone is too overwhelmed at the moment and it’s a bit much to call just days away from the event, by all means, take your time, take a breath, and then when you can call again,” he says. says.

“The sooner you call, the sooner your claim can begin and the sooner an adjuster can be assigned.”

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Hawk says that as insurers like Fiona attempt to test claims from a massive disruption, they will prioritize addressing customers with potentially the most serious losses.

Will Fiona increase my insurance premiums?

Just as some insurers may be busier than others in the wake of Fiona, experts say changes in your insurance rates in the months following the hurricane will vary depending on your provider.

Hawke notes that anyone with a claim-forgiveness policy on their coverage plan will preserve their rates after making an initial claim.

Dean says that an adverse weather event “does not necessarily seriously affect premiums.”

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But she notes that the more claims that are coming in from one jurisdiction, the more it will ultimately cost for that kind of coverage.

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“At a certain point, premiums should increase as claims are rising. So it remains to be seen as we work our way through this process,” she says.

Fiona is the latest to take into account insurance costs for weather-related incidents.

Dean says home insurance claims have increased over the past few decades “due to particularly severe weather,” reaching nearly $2.2 billion in claims last year. A decade ago, the IBC said that meteorological claims averaged more than $600 million.

“Our industry is working to keep track of those trends,” Dean says.

—With files from Aaron D’Andrea of ​​Global News, Amanda Connolly and The Canadian Press

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Storm Fiona: Trudeau denies Nova Scotia Power report that US employees were delayed by Arrivcan app

Storm Fiona: Trudeau denies Nova Scotia Power report that US employees were delayed by Arrivcan app

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