Insurers Responding Quickly to BC Fire Crisis – Consumers reminded wildfires covered by insurance: IBC

VANCOUVER, BC – July 20, 2009 – BC insurers are acting quickly to assist those whose homes and businesses have been affected by the forest fires currently raging in the province.

“It is important for everyone to understand that forest fires are covered by standard homeowners and business insurance policies,” said Lindsay Olson, Vice-President, B.C., Saskatchewan & Manitoba, Insurance Bureau of Canada. “There is always some anxiety and confusion over what is covered by insurance in times like this; we want to assure everyone that property insurance policies in force at the time of the loss will respond to damage caused by these fires.”

Even if there is no loss or damage to a home or property, homeowners insurance policies may also provide some coverage for additional living expenses if the policy holder is complying with a government evacuation order.

Olson added: “Our thoughts are with the 10,000 people who have been evacuated as a result of these fires, and who may have damage to their homes. Insurance companies are working hard to provide answers and assurance to fire victims and their families.”

Contrary to popular belief, acts of God or acts of nature are not excluded in any property insurance policy in Canada. In fact, insurers routinely pay for damage resulting from natural disasters, including wind, storm, rain, hail and wildfire.

Consumers affected by these fires should contact their insurance representative as soon as possible. Those with questions about coverage, or in need of assistance locating a number for their insurer, are welcome to call IBC�s consumer information line at 1-877-772-3777.

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 110,000 Canadians, pays more than $6 billion in taxes to the federal, provincial and municipal governments, and has a total premium base of $38 billion.

About Insurance Bureau of Canada

The Insurance Bureau of Canada is a national association that brings together the majority of general insurance companies in Canada. It offers various services to consumers in order to inform and assist them when purchasing car or home insurance or making a claim.