Royal & SunAlliance introduces mobile claims centre to help consumers deal with severe weather

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TORONTO, Sept. 28, 2007 – Canadian seasonal homeowners are inadequately prepared for severe weather and theft, according to a recent survey.

The research, commissioned by Royal & SunAlliance (R&SA), a leading >provider of home, car and business insurance, found that one-third of Canadian cottagers are unequipped for harsh weather conditions and only one-quarter of respondents keep their doors locked at all times when vacationing at their cottage.

“Cottage season no longer ends on Labour Day. Canadians are outfitting their cottages with the amenities of home and making them appropriate for year-round living. As a result, the value of the contents of cottages is increasing. This makes the need for protection against severe weather and property invasions increasingly important,” says Irene Bianchi, Vice President of Claims & Corporate Services, R&SA. “Precautions like locking doors and windows, having a disaster safety kit readily available, and having proper insurance are the first steps in protecting yourself.”

Specific to severe weather, the survey found that of the third of cottagers who are unprepared for severe weather, 35 per cent said that it never even occurred to them to prepare. Another 26 per cent of these respondents stated that they are not concerned about the effects of severe storms. This is particularly alarming in light of the 2006 summer storm in Ontario, which included two tornadoes and caused $500 million in damage.

To help property owners cope with damage related to severe weather, Royal & SunAlliance is launching a mobile claims unit that will travel to communities coping with the after-effects of weather disasters. The Claims Response Vehicle will be staffed by adjusters and will deliver immediate access to local claims services. The vehicle will also appear at community events, where the R&SA Claims team will offer tips and advice on how to protect yourself.

Specific to the increase in the value of contents in cottages, the survey uncovered that four in five of respondents have a TV at the cottage, and over half have stereo equipment and DVD players.

R&SA offers the following tips for seasonal homeowners:

  • Lock doors and windows while away from the cottage
  • Install deadbolt locks on doors and do not hide spare keys in obvious places
  • Avoid keeping valuables at the cottage while away, unless they are locked in a safe
  • Lock up motorized water sports equipment, such as boats and jet skis
  • Secure a neighbour to periodically survey the property when it is vacant
  • Talk to your local insurance broker to ensure you have the coverage that’s right for you

The survey was conducted by Leger Marketing among 1,504 adult Canadians between July 18 and 22, 2007. The margin of error for a sample of this size is +/-2.5%, 19 times out of 20.

For more information, visit www.royalsunalliance.ca or talk to your local insurance broker to ensure proper coverage is in place. R&SA works with a national network of more than 800 local insurance brokers across the country. To find an R&SA broker, visit www.royalsunalliance.ca or call 1-888-877-1710.