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What kind of damages caused by Fiona will be covered by insurance?

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The total cost of damages caused by post-tropical storm Fiona is yet to be determined but estimated insurable losses in Atlantic Canada could be in the hundreds of millions.

According to DBRS Morningstar, a credit rating agency, loss estimates currently range between $300 and $700 million, a record high in the region.

But, many residents of Atlantic Canada may not get coverage for all the damages caused by Fiona due to a lack of insurance covering storm-related floods.

According to Amanda Dean, vice-president for the Insurance Bureau of Canada's Atlantic region, residential home insurance policies frequently cover wind damage, including tree damage and specific types of water damage.

But to include flood coverage, customers typically need an add-on policy, she said.

"A lot of it just depends on the details," Dean told CTV's Your Morning on Wednesday, adding that residents should document as much of the damage to their homes as possible.

Dean said that water damage that might be caused in basements when falling trees and other debris punch holes through a house will require additional water damage insurance which is often not included in standard home insurance policies.

A typical plan will likely cover wind damage caused by fallen trees or flying debris, she added.

Dean said that claimants don't need to necessarily wait for an insurance officer before clearing up their homes, as long as it’s safe to do and the damages have been properly documented.

"Anything that you can do safely and that's, that's the key … (such as) safely patching a hole to prevent water damage," she said.

DBRS Morningstar said in a report that the insurable losses related to Fiona are roughly in line with previous natural disasters in other provinces, such as the flooding in B.C. last year that saw $515 million in insured losses.

Atlantic Canada represents a small portion of the Canadian property insurance market, according to the report.

However, Fiona will likely go down as one of the region's largest catastrophic events.

The Nova Scotia government is offering financial support to residents dealing with the effects of the storm. This includes disaster relief assistance funding, which Premier Tim Houston announced will cover certain uninsured losses up to $200,000. There will be no deductible for residents and small business owners, he said.

A full list of resources for Halifax’s impacted residents can be found here

With files from The Canadian Press  

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