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Forest fires in British Columbia : the insurers on the alert

by

Andrea Lubeck

11 July, 2017 13:30

Photo : Unsplash

The forest fires raging in British Columbia since the beginning of the month of July have forced the evacuation of at least 14,000 homes and have led the province to declare a state of emergency, according to information reported by ICI Radio-Canada.

Some 500 fires are active in the province have been caused by several factors, meteorological and geographical, explained Yves Bergeron, professor of forest ecology at theUniversité du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue (UQAT) and at theUniversité du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), in particular a rise in temperatures, sudden in the spring, lightning struck dry vegetation. However, it is not yet possible to determine if the cause is natural or if it is a human error.

The TRAY responds to the questions of the insured

The insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) has deployed its Community Assistance Mobile Pavilion (CAMP) in the Kamloops area, at a camp where staff will provide information concerning insurance for disaster victims affected by the forest fires.

«The CAMP of the TRAY is established on the site in the aftermath of the disaster to answer questions related to insurance and to help the victims of the evacuations to start the claims process at a time when they need it the most,» says Aaron Sutherland, vice-president, Pacific, for the BAC, adding that the employees are present to facilitate the communication with the insurers.

The insurer Aviva Canada has also offered his support to the disaster victims, noting that many experts claim are on the ground ready to offer advice to the people affected, and that the team of customer service claims department is reachable at all times.

Tips and steps to follow

In a press release, the LAC has offered advice to the victims to facilitate the claims process. The TRAY recalls that most home insurance policies and companies cover the damage caused by the fire. In addition, if residents have had to evacuate their property, their insurer may reimburse the cost of their subsistence for a certain period of time.

In addition, the oca suggests some steps to do for the victims when they return home. First, to evaluate and document, preferably with photographs, of the damage, get in touch with their insurer to make a list of damaged property and gather evidence of purchases, receipts and warranties of their property.

In addition, the insured must keep all receipts related to cleanup and expenses incurred in the event of an evacuation.

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