In the event of property damage
If you’ve experienced damage to your home or property due to severe weather, theft or vandalism, we understand how upsetting it can be, and you want help fast. At times like these you’ll appreciate speaking to someone knowledgeable about what to do next. If you need to file a home insurance claim, or any property claim, we're here for you every step of the way.
TO HELP YOU GET BACK TO NORMAL HERE ARE SOME STEPS TO FOLLOW
Step One: Call Authorities
If you have experienced vandalism, theft or fire you need to report damages immediately. Law enforcement authorities should be contacted first and a police report should be prepared.
Step Two: Call your Broker
Once you’ve contacted the proper authorities, call your insurance broker. Your broker knows the specifics of your policy coverage, and can give you the best advice relating to your situation.
WHAT TO DO IN THE EVENT OF WATER DAMAGE
Be careful! Do not turn on any electrical switches until your electrical system has been checked.
- Turn off your main switch by standing on a dry surface and using a piece of heavy rubber, plastic or dry wood.
- If you have gas service, check for fumes. If you notice an odour, call the gas company immediately.
Take steps immediately to protect your property from further damage.
- Board up holes or shut off water supplies to ensure your belongings are not damaged more than they have been.
- Move items out of wet basements and away from flooded parts of your home.
Report the damage to your insurance representative immediately.
- Standing water and wet materials are a breeding ground for micro-organisms such as viruses, bacteria and mould which can cause disease, trigger allergic reactions and continue to damage materials long after the flood. Mould growth can start in less than 48 hours.
- Save receipts for materials you use. Insurance providers will cover any reasonable cost associated with protecting your property if the loss is covered by your policy.
WHAT TO DO IN THE EVENT OF FIRE
Get out and stay out! If you smell smoke or see flames, get everyone out of the building immediately.
- During a fire, the air is cleaner near the floor.
- Get down on your hands and knees and crawl to an exit.
- Close doors to slow the spread of smoke and flames.
- Agree on a meeting place, go there and “take attendance” to be sure that no one is left inside the building.
Call the fire department!
- Phone the fire department from outside the building and give the complete address of the fire.
- Don’t hang up until you’re told to do so.
- Be sure that no one goes back inside the building for any reason.
- Tell the fire department if anyone is trapped inside the building.
Don’t fight fire unless…
- Someone has called the fire department; and
- You still have a clear exit; and
- You have the right tools and know exactly what to do
Remember: things can be replaced – you can’t
WHAT TO DO IN THE EVENT WIND AND/OR HAIL
- Secure all doors and windows. Prevent a sliding glass door from opening by inserting a dowel into its track.
- Make sure any outdoor furniture and fixtures are brought in to prevent them from doing damage.
- During a storm, stay away from glass windows and doors and seek refuge in an interior room with no windows.
- Avoid using electrical appliances.
- Take care of your pets. A storm can be a frightening experience, and they could injure themselves or even you if panicked. If necessary, secure pets in carriers.
- Do not light candles or lanterns. They could get blown over causing a fire.
- Never go out during the storm. High winds can send debris flying right into you causing injury.
- After the storm clears, and you come out, beware of down power lines and gas leaks. Stay away from heavily damaged areas.
- Listen to your radio for instructions.
- IF THERE IS A STORM IN THE MAKING, KEEP UP WITH ITS PROGRESS. IF YOU ARE TOLD TO EVACUATE, DO IT!
WHAT TO DO IN THE EVENT THEFT AT HOME
- If you return home and find your door or window ajar, go to a neighbor's home and call the police.
- In the event of a surprise encounter with an intruder, attempt to flee. If you are blocked in, remain still and allow him to leave.
- Do not attempt to detain him, as he may be armed. Your television is replaceable, but you are not!
- Call the police immediately. The sooner they arrive, the greater the chance that your possessions will be recovered.
- While you wait for the police to arrive, don't touch anything or attempt to clean up the mess. You may ruin important evidence.
- When the police arrive, provide them with a copy of your inventory. This will make it easier to identify a suspect who is caught with your valuables.