The Great Storm of July 2013

Not since Hurricane Hazel hit the Toronto area in 1954 has the GTA experienced the type of flooding, sewer backup and influx of water that took place earlier this month.

Insurance companies and contractors will be working endless hours in response to the thousands of claims generated by the storm.

Below are some tips to help you through this in the event that you were one of the unfortunate victims of this storm.

  • If 36 hours have passed since you reported your claim and you have not yet heard from an adjuster or a contractor sent out by your insurance carrier, follow up with your broker. With thousands of claims being reported, the odd one might get misplaced or overlooked in your insurance carrier’s claims department.
  • Residential policies do not cover flood. Some commercial policies contain flood coverage, but often with very high deductibles. In some cases water entering through windows or around doors due to high water levels (flood) may mask a sewer or drain backup which in many cases is covered. Let your insurance company make that determination in case there is a chance they can cover some or all of the loss.
  • Doing some cleanup or drying (fans, humidifiers) will not invalidate your claim if it is a covered loss. Just don’t dispose of any property you might be claiming before your insurance company has an opportunity to inspect.
  • It is natural to wonder why your neighbour may have already heard from an adjuster and contractors are now busy working away at their house, if you’ve not yet heard from your adjuster. That doesn’t mean that your neighbour’s insurance company is better than yours. The reverse scenario is taking place elsewhere in the city where your insurance company may have responded to a claim before the one you see working across the street. Much of it has to do when the initial report was received and if the adjuster was able to make contact on the first try. A contractor working in an area who gets the call for another job on the same street, regardless of insurer, will likely attend to that call sooner than moving to another location.
  • The most important thing to remember is that every broker, adjuster and contractor is doing the best they can to help you through this situation. It will take time, but rest assured, in a few months it will all be behind us.

Thank you for your patience and cooperation!