Significant flooding hits British Columbia: IBC issues tips to help consumers

Vancouver, BC (May 18, 2018) – Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is encouraging residents affected by flooding in British Columbia to call their insurance representatives immediately if they have damage to report.

Flooding has already had a significant impact on many communities across the province, and particularly in the southern Interior. With Environment Canada predicting warm weather and heavy rainfall over the weekend, expanded flood warnings are expected.

“We have seen the devastating effects that flooding can have on communities,” said Aaron Sutherland, Vice-President, Pacific, IBC. “Higher than normal temperatures, rapid snowmelt and heavy rain are adding to the problem. IBC is reiterating the need for everyone to be on alert and to stay safe. We want to help make sure British Columbia residents are prepared and ready to deal with the potential damages.”

While most standard home insurance policies do not cover damage due to overland flooding, many Canadian insurers now offer residential overland flood insurance as an optional add-on to help policyholders reduce the financial risk associated with a flood. It is important for consumers to understand their insurance policies and know what is covered. If damage occurs, consumers should contact their insurance representatives. IBC is also here to help policyholders if they have insurance-related questions.

“IBC’s Consumer Information Centre is available to answer any insurance-related questions that affected individuals might have. Contact us at 1-844-2ask-IBC. We’re here to help,” added Sutherland.

If you have a claim, this is how to start the claims process:

  • When safe to do so, assess and document damage.
  • Call your insurance representative and/or company to report damage or losses.
  • Be as detailed as possible when providing information.
  • Water damage to vehicles is usually covered under comprehensive or all-perils auto insurance policies. Contact your insurance representative for details.
  • If you need help getting in touch with your insurer, contact IBC’s Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2ask-IBC (1-844-227-5422).

Help protect your property from water damage:

  • Store valuable items on upper floors of your home, not in the basement.
  • Have large appliances, furnaces, hot water heaters and electrical panels raised up on wood or cement blocks. If this isn’t possible, consider anchoring these items and protecting them with a floodwall or shield.
  • If flooding is imminent, shut off electricity to areas of the home that may be affected. Use sand bags or install flood shields or built-up barriers for basement windows and doors.
  • Create an emergency preparedness plan with your family.
  • Assemble an emergency supply kit.
  • Prepare a detailed home inventory.
  • Pay attention to local authorities and monitor weather developments regularly.
  • Avoid roads that are covered by water.

About Insurance Bureau of Canada

Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is the national industry association representing Canada’s private home, auto and business insurers. Its member companies make up 90% of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance market in Canada. For more than 50 years, IBC has worked with governments across the country to help make affordable home, auto and business insurance available for all Canadians. IBC supports the vision of consumers and governments trusting, valuing and supporting the private P&C insurance industry. It champions key issues and helps educate consumers on how best to protect their homes, cars, businesses and properties.

P&C insurance touches the lives of nearly every Canadian and plays a critical role in keeping businesses safe and the Canadian economy strong. It employs more than 120,000 Canadians, pays $9 billion in taxes and has a total premium base of $52 billion.

For more information, visit IBC at If you have a question about home, auto or business insurance, contact IBC’s Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2ask-IBC.

SOURCE: Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC)

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