Canada’s Insurers Urge Ontario Residents to Check Tornado Coverage

August 28, 2009

Canada’s home, car and business insurers have urged residents affected by tornadoes that recently tore through southern Ontario to check their homeowner’s policy and contact their insurance representative as soon as possible.

“Wind and hail damage due to tornadoes is generally covered by home insurance,” explained Nikki Holland, Ontario Government Relations Manager, Insurance Bureau of Canada. “Damage from objects that might have fallen onto homes as a result of a tornado is covered as well.”

Severe storms rolled across a large section of Ontario last week, generating multiple tornadoes and causing serious damage. One fatality was reported in Durham, Ontario.

“In certain circumstances, homeowners who are unable to return to their homes due to damage that is insurable are entitled to additional living expenses, as well,” Holland added.

The IBC bulletin notes that “policies vary from insurer to insurer, but, in general, damage caused by wind or hail, such as windows broken by falling trees or branches, is covered. Water entering your home and damaging your property as a result of holes caused by wind or hail is also usually covered. Water damage in a basement due to a sewer back-up is covered only if a sewer back-up add-on has been added to your policy. If you have comprehensive or all perils coverage on your car, damage from wind, hail or water is usually covered.”

However, it also warned that any overland flooding that results in water seeping into basements is not usually covered.

If consumers have questions, they are encouraged to contact IBC’s Ontario Consumer Information Centre at 1-800-387-2880 or 416-362-9528.

Source: Insurance Bureau of Canada – www.ibc.ca

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