Protecting yourself during a hailstorm: Safety tips from Royal & SunAlliance

TORONTO, August 2, 2006 – Our primary concern is for the safety of you and your loved ones during a hailstorm. Royal & SunAlliance, a home, auto and commercial insurer, has some advice on keeping safe.

It’s most important that you protect yourself and your family first:

  • Find shelter – avoid water, high ground, isolated trees, picnic shelters and open spaces.

  • Stay indoors, and away from windows, glass doors and skylights which can shatter if hit by hailstones.

  • Avoid using the telephone during a storm, and do not touch metal objects like stoves, radiators, metal pipes, and sinks.

  • Keep your pets indoors and away from windows, glass doors and skylights.

  • Move your vehicle to a sheltered area.

  • Store copies of important documents, such as wills and insurance policies, offsite.

What to do if your home or business has been damaged:

  • If you lose power, turn off your appliances to avoid a power surge when the power is restored.

  • Do NOT touch electrical wires, appliances, or devices.

  • Use a flashlight, not a candle, as a source of light.

  • Check for any gas leaks and turn the valves off if there is a leak.

  • Do not drive through flooded roadways.

  • Separate damaged property from undamaged property, and prepare an inventory of what has been lost or damaged.

  • Take photographs of damaged property. If covered, Royal & SunAlliance will reimburse you for the cost of the developing.

  • Keep receipts for any clean-up costs incurred (i.e., shop vac rentals, cleaning supplies, etc.).

  • Your insurance company is there to help. Contact your independent insurance broker or your insurance company to report any damage. If you are a Royal & SunAlliance or Ascentus policyholder, you can call our Claims line directly at 1-800-319-9993.

Protecting your home in the future:

  • Cover windows with a protective film to resist shattering.

  • Install surge arrestors or suppressors to protect your electronics against lightning striking power lines.

  • If you are having your roof redone, install impact-resistant roof covering.

  • If you are replacing the siding on your home, use materials that will withstand hail.

  • Remove weak branches and trees that could fall on your home.

  • Put your vehicle and other valuables in a garage or shelter if there is a threat of a thunderstorm.

“At Royal & SunAlliance, we are concerned for you and your family’s safety, and are there to help should your home or possessions be damaged. If you have questions about your insurance policy, or would like more information, please contact your local independent insurance broker, who will be able to help,” says Irene Bianchi, Vice President of Claims and Corporate Services, at Royal & SunAlliance.

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The Royal & SunAlliance Canada group includes Roins Financial Services Limited, Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Company of Canada, Quebec Assurance Company, Johnson Inc., Western Assurance Company, Ascentus Insurance Ltd. and is part of Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Group plc. The Royal & SunAlliance Canada group employs more than 2,500 people and is represented by a large network of independent brokers across the country. In 2005, the Canadian Group wrote $1.4 billion in direct premiums, with assets exceeding $4.5 billion.

Internationally, Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Group plc employs about 24,000 people and transacts business in more than 130 countries, with assets of approximately $50 billion.