Sask. evacuee expenses may be covered by insurance: SGI

SGI is reminding Saskatchewan residents who have left their homes due to mandatory evacuations in the north that they may be eligible to have evacuation expenses covered.

Insurance may cover hotel stays, fuel, meals, transportation

The Red Cross has set up evacuation sites in Prince Albert and Saskatoon. (Red Cross/Twitter)

Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) is reminding northern residents who have left their homes due to mandatory evacuations that they may be eligible to have some expenses covered.

As of Monday, there were 37 active fires burning in the province, with six not contained. Pelican Narrows —

a community about 385 km north of Prince Albert — is under an evacuation order and thousands of residents have relocated to Prince Albert and Saskatoon.

SGI president Andrew Cartmell said customers are urged to contact their insurance broker because their living expenses while they are displaced may be covered.

"Their insurance broker can provide details about the amount of coverage available," wrote Cartmell in an emailed statement.

He said all SGI Canada customers with a personal property policy, whether it's prestige, home, mobile home, tenant, condo or agro pak, have mass evacuation coverage.

Buses wait to transport Pelican Narrows residents away from the fire. (Vanessa Lynn Linklater-McCallum/Facebook)

Mass evacuation coverage includes expenses for hotel or motel stays, subsidies for those staying with friends or family members, fuel, meals and transportation costs.

The costs can be covered up to a period of 30 days. In that time, customers are asked to save all their receipts to submit if they decide to put in a claim.

While people are displaced from their community, their policies will not be cancelled if it expires or is not paid for up to 30 days.

Saskatchewan auto fund customers who have been displaced do not have to worry about their insurance lapsing while they are away from their home and unable to renew their driver's licence or vehicle plate insurance. If a customer has to make a claim, they will be able to renew their expired driver's licence or vehicle plate and access auto fund coverage.

According to SGI, it has employees on hand at the Saskatoon and Prince Albert shelter locations to provide assistance to evacuees.

Fire updates

The Ministry of Environment is focusing almost all provincial wildfire fighting resources to fires in the Pelican Narrows area.

The Granite Fire is about 14 km southeast of Pelican Narrows and more than 60,000 hectares in size. The communities of Jan Lake and Birch Portage have been evacuated due to direct fire threat.

Both Highway 135 and Highway 106 have been jumped by the fire.

The Preston fire is 3 km north of Pelican Narrows and more than 20,000 hectares in size. It also jumped Highway 135 north of Pelican Narrows.

At this time, no community structures or critical infrastructure have been reported burned by the wildfires.

An expanded fire ban is now in place in for provincial parks south of the Churchill River system, Crown land and Prince Albert National Park.