Insurance Bureau of Canada urges residents of P.E.I. to minimize damage and check their insurance coverage following ice storm

HALIFAX, Feb. 1, 2008 – Canada’s home, car and business insurers urge residents of Prince Edward Island to contact their insurance representatives and to take measures to protect themselves and minimize damage as a result of this week’s ice storm.

The storm brought down power poles and trees, and resulted in thousands of homes and businesses being without power.

Don Forgeron, Vice-President, Atlantic, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) says: “During a power outage, the first priority is to ensure the safety of yourself and your family. For example, exercise extreme caution in the use of candles. Don’t leave them burning unattended.”

He adds: “It is also important to protect your home against damage resulting from an extended power outage. To prevent bursting pipes due to freezing, remember to turn off water mains where they enter the house, then drain the pipes by opening all taps in the house.”

Forgeron urges residents with homes or vehicles that have been damaged by the storm to contact their insurance representatives as soon as possible to determine the extent to which they are covered. Coverage varies from policy to policy.

“Damage to homes caused by falling branches or trees is usually covered. Damage to vehicles caused by fallen branches or trees is covered under the comprehensive section of an automobile insurance policy, but this coverage is not mandatory and policyholders are advised to check their policy,” he says.

Losses sustained because of food spoilage in freezers resulting from loss of power are also usually covered, up to $1,000, by home policies.

For any questions or concerns pertaining to home, car or business insurance, please contact the IBC Consumer Information Centre at (800) 565-7189 x. 227.

About Insurance Bureau of Canada:

Insurance Bureau of Canada is the national trade association of the property and casualty insurance industry. Its member companies provide nearly 95% of the private home, car and business insurance sold in Canada.