Insurance Bureau of Canada reminds Atlantic Canadians to protect their homes: Overland flooding not covered by insurance

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HALIFAX, April 4, 2008 – With lots of snow on and around homes, and the spring thaw on the horizon, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is reminding Atlantic Canada’s homeowners to protect their belongings against overland flooding.

“Most people can’t wait to hang up the snow shovel,” says Don Forgeron, Vice-President, Atlantic, IBC. “But before they do, homeowners should take the time to make sure the spring thaw won’t put their properties in danger.”

IBC offers these tips: To minimize the risk of flooding, pick up that shovel one last time and get snow away from the house, especially basement windows. Check your property for obstructions that could prevent melting snow from draining away from the house properly, and clear a path for the water. Also check catch basins on the street to ensure they are not obstructed.

Forgeron also urges homeowners to move valuable items located in their basements to higher ground to prevent water damage during the thaw. “It’s important to take preventative action at this time of year because damage caused by overland flooding is not covered by home insurance policies,” he says. “Sewer back-up coverage, however, is usually available and can be purchased as an add-on to policies.”

The thaw also raises the risk of an oil leak. To protect yourself, make sure your tank, the lines, the connections, and all the areas around them are free of snow and ice.

IBC also reminds consumers that damages due to a roof collapse caused by an accumulation of snow and ice is covered by most comprehensive home insurance policies. IBC recommends that you do not try to clear snow from the roof yourself. Leave this task to a snow removal professional who has the proper equipment and appropriate liability insurance.

Consumers are urged to contact their insurance representative to confirm their coverage. For more information, homeowners can also call the Insurance Bureau of Canada Consumer Information Centre at 1-800-565-7189.

About Insurance Bureau of Canada:

Insurance Bureau of Canada is the national industry association
representing Canada’s private home, car, and business insurers. Its member
companies represent nearly 95% of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance
market in Canada. The P&C insurance industry employs over 104,000 Canadians,
pays more than $6 billion in taxes to the federal and provincial governments,
and has a total premium base of $35 billion. For more information, visit www.ibc.ca.