Friday May 13, 2016
Surely You're Insured
Having the right kind of protection
Michelle MacDonald, Envision CU/Photo Janet Stevenson
ith the devastating Fort McMurray fire top-of-mind for all Canadians, homeowners should spend some time this week reviewing their own home insurance policies.
“The threat of wildfire evacuation and, in the worst case scenario, property loss is more real than ever this year,” says Janet Stevenson, insurance services manager at Envision Insurance Services, a division of First West Insurance Services Ltd. “The notice to evacuate was so sudden for Fort McMurray—and, given our geography, that could absolutely happen here in the Lower Mainland.”
“Anyone who is living in an area close to forested land would be wise to review their home insurance policy to ensure they know exactly what, and how much, they’re covered for.”
Most home insurance policies with comprehensive coverage (a policy which includes a guaranteed replacement cost on your building provided policy subjects are met) provides protection for losses related to forest fire, says Stevenson. However, many people don’t review their coverage levels or coverage types annually and may need to revise their coverage to prevent significant out-of-pocket expenses.
“In the event an evacuation notice is issued, insurance clients won’t be able to add comprehensive coverage or make any policy changes until the notice is lifted,” says Stevenson. “This could leave them exposed to unexpected losses related to wildfires. It’s better to act now and ensure you’re adequately covered rather than leave anything to chance.”
Those who aren’t under evacuation notice or are not near an active fire can change their policy coverage at any time. Stevenson says anyone living in an area likely to be impacted by a fire should contact their insurance advisor to review their policy as soon as possible.
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