Will My Insurance Cover Ice Storm Damage?

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This National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) satellite image shows the size of the weather system responsible for the December 2013 ice storm that knocked out power to approximately 300,000 Toronto Hydro customers.


Dear Neighbour:

The CBC has an article titled, “Insurance and the Ice Storm: Are You Covered?” It discusses in a general sense, whether or not insurance policies will cover storm related damage. “It depends on individual policies, but there are some general guidelines”, according to the CBC. This past week, I called my own home insurance to see what my home insurance covers, as 3 of my large trees sustained heavy damage, and about half of the debris fell in my neighbours’ backyards, and I can confirm that the information contained in the CBC article is correct.

Property insurance typically covers damage to homes caused by falling tree branches, ice, snow, rain and wind according to the CBC. When wind damage allows snow and water to enter homes through openings it destroys personal property. Homeowners with contents insurance should be covered by their policies for such types of damage.

Damage to vehicles caused by falling tree branches, ice, wind and rain are covered if the owner has comprehensive coverage.

The CBC reports that if your neighbour’s tree or a City tree causes damage to your property, report the damage to your own insurance company. I was informed by my insurance company that any property damage to my property is covered under my policy, subject to the deductible. Damage to my neighbours’ property should be reported to their own insurance company.

For trees and branches that have fallen on your yard but have not caused any property damage, the property owner is responsible for the costs of cleanup and removal. The CBC article advises, “potential claimants to take pictures of any damage” as soon as it happens.

To read the full article, go to: http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/insurance-and-the-ice-storm-are-you-covered-1.2474389 

Sincerely,

Chin Lee
Ward 41 – Scarborough Rouge River

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