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Forest Fires and Insurance

We’ve been very lucky up to now with the warm weather but some residents in Northern Ontario don’t have luck on their side with forest fires looming in their area. Approximately 300 residents in Kirkland Lake have already been evacuated from their homes. This raises an important insurance question – Are my additional incurred costs for accommodations covered by insurance in this case? Most insurance policies include a coverage called “Mass Evacuation” that covers you for necessary and reasonable increase in living expenses as a direct result of a sudden and accidental event covered on your policy (such as fire). This coverage however has a few limitations – some insurers limit the amount payable to $2,500 and impose a time limit of 2 weeks. Certain perils are also excluded such as flood, earthquake, war, terrorism, nuclear incident and radioactive contamination. If you aren’t sure if this coverage is included on your policy, contact your insurance broker to get the specifics.

To obtain updates on the current forest fires situation, please click here.

INSURANCE TIP: If you need to make changes to your policy (such as increasing building limits, coverages or modifying your deductible), you shouldn’t wait to make these changes until it’s too late as most insurance companies will not allow any changes to be made to a policy (such as increasing the limit of insurance or adding coverage) when there is a direct threat in your area (such as a forest fire).

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