Insurance Bureau of Canada Helping Wildfire Evacuees
Prince George, B.C. – The Insurance Bureau of Canada has set up a mobile pavilion outside Prince George Secondary School (2901 Griffiths Avenue) to assist Cariboo residents displaced by raging wildfires in their region.
“We are literally across the road from the College of New Caledonia – it’s convenient for people to get here and asks questions,” says director of consumer and industry relations Pete Karageorgos. “We’re open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week.”
A trade association that represents 90 per cent of the companies selling home, car and business insurance in Canada – he says the IBC offer a wide range of services.
“Anyone who may have insurance questions or wanting to start the claims process can reach us here or their insurance companies,” says Karageorgos.
“Many times, people are also getting cheques from their insurance companies for additional living expenses because of the evacuation. And some individuals who may have suffered damage to their properties because of the fire can also start the claims process by talking to adjusters who are here.”
Between its mobile locations in Prince George and Kamloops, he estimates they’ve already talked to hundreds of displaced residents.
Along with starting claims, Karageorgos adds the IBC also commonly fills people in on what kind of support they can receive post-evacuation.
“Because there are mandatory evacuation orders in place many insurance policies will trigger additional living expense coverage to help pay for things like food and lodging. So, people can get cheques in addition to the Red Cross from their insurance companies while they’re out of their homes.”
Do natural disasters put pressure on insurance rates for everyone?
“It’s a question that often comes up. It came up last year with Fort McMurray, it’s come up earlier this year with some of the floods,” he says.
“When insurance companies look at their rates, they look at their long term. So, it’s not just a one-off event such as we see here with the wildfires or with flooding in Alberta. So, if there’s a trend upwards or downwards, those trends are what impact insurance rates.”
Those who can’t make it to the IBC’s mobile pavilion, can check out their website at www.ibc.ca or call 1-844-227-5422 for assistance.