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Here's what you should know about wildfire home insurance policies

Amid burning wildfires in western and eastern provinces, vice-president of the Insurance Bureau of Canada, Craig Stewart, shares what residents should know about wildfire policy coverage.

In an interview with CTV’s Your Morning on Friday, Stewart assured that almost every insurance policy across Canada covers wildfire risk.

"First thing you do is contact your insurer and get your claim started as quickly as possible after you’re safe," says Stewart.

Stewart says for those who have to evacuate and relocate, most insurance policies include provisions for additional living expenses.

"Policies extend typically from two to four weeks of living costs while you’re out of your home," says Stewart, "Ask about those, and make sure that you keep receipts, and that you’re filing those with your insurer."

According to Stewart, no policies have been nullified because homes were built too close to a forested area in Nova Scotia—cases that have happened after 2016 Fort McMurray wildfires.

"Over 200 homes did have insurance coverage, and almost all of those people have already been in contact with their insurers," says Stewart. 

Some Nova Scotia homes were uninsured this year, Stewart revealed. 

In wake of the 2.7 million hectares of land burned in Canada, according to the National Forestry Database, Stewart says we’re not close to seeing people who live in fire-prone areas not get insurance.

"Fire is still considered an accident in this country. We cannot predict where homes are going to burn," says Stewart, "Certainly in Tantallon, just outside of Halifax, that was a complete surprise not only for residents, but insurers as well."

"We don't see wildfire insurance being limited in any way across the country. There's over 200 property and casualty insurers operating in a very competitive market. We haven't heard of any insurers looking to withdraw from any part of the country at this point," adds Stewart.

Stewart clarifies that although most fires are manmade it doesn’t affect policy coverage. Top Stories

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