IBC responds to policyholders following Ontario-wide power outage

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TORONTO, Aug. 15, 2003 – Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) advises that some of the losses resulting from Ontario’s power outage will be covered under most insurance policies. Policyholders are reminded that they are required to take all reasonable steps to prevent and limit losses, including damage to perishable food.

“At this point we cannot predict the extent of the losses, but we will be monitoring the situation closely,” said Mark Yakabuski, Ontario Vice President, IBC. “The longer the outage lasts, the more likely it is to result in damage.”

If the power is out for an extended period, homeowner policies normally cover spoiled food in freezers. Damage to electronic equipment caused by power surges may also be covered.

Businesses may have losses covered for business interruption and lost inventory, depending on their policy.

Both personal and business policyholders should contact their agent or broker to determine the exact coverage they have under their policy.

IBC cautions those Ontarians who are still without power to be careful when using candles as a lighting source. “Ideally, we’d like people to use flashlights, but if they must use candles we urge them not to leave them unattended.” said Mr. Yakabuski.

Those with access to water and power should use it sparingly to ensure adequate supply for emergency services.

Additionally, consumers should disconnect electronic equipment and electrical appliances to protect them from damage in the event of a power surge.

Insurance Bureau of Canada is the national trade association of the private property and casualty insurance industry. It represents more than 90% of the non-government home, car and business insurance in Canada.