Insurance concerns abound after winter wallop
New Brunswickers wonder what damages are covered and what impact on premiums will be
As New Brunswickers deal with another blast of winter, many home and business owners are wondering what damages their insurance will cover and whether their premiums will increase.
Dave Wolpin's Hampton grocery store, Kredl's Corner Market, lost power after the big ice storm last week and the outage lasted longer than he expected.
"So I started scrambling, posting on Facebook, texting people looking for a generator of some sort," he said.
Still, Wolpin lost some produce and meat and isn't sure if he'll get back any of his potential earnings.
"If there was a big wind storm or if there was a fire, or anything I'd be totally covered. But because it's just a power outage, I think I have to lose, like, 10 grand or more," he said.
Snow, water damage likely covered
Steve Olmstead at the Insurance Bureau of Canada says every business claim is different, but homeowners should be able to claim snow or water damage inside.
"It depends how it got into the home in the first place. So if a branch fell and broke a window or something else broke a window from a storm and wind and snow got in that way, you're probably going to be covered," he said.
Insurance might also cover hotel costs for those who are forced to leave their homes, said Olmstead.
"Usually you can get some support for having to vacate your home for a few days."
Olmstead says it's too early to say whether premiums will go up.
"Over the summer we saw a lot of storm damage, a lot of flood damage from western Canada and central Canada and those are the kind of events where a lot of people were impacted, where you would expect to see a lot of impact on a premium going forward," he said.
"I don't know how many claims have been made or will be made as a result of this storm, so it's really hard to say that premiums will go up."
The latest claims could take a year or longer to close, he said.
Since the ice storm affected areas of the province differently, it's also difficult to predict which claims will be successful, said Olmstead.
He says it's important that homeowners try to document the damage.