UPDATED: BC wildfires – What brokers need to know

Claims reporting information and other details for customers in the BC interior

In British Columbia, some evacuees are being allowed to return to their homes, but the wildfire situation is still ongoing.

As the conduit of news and information between brokers and insurers, Canadian Insurance Top Broker has assembled the following quick reference guide of essential information from insurance companies on claims reporting for customers affected by the BC wildfires along with other relevant resources. We will continue to update this page and share it through all our digital channels as we receive new information.

For insurance companies that would like to have information added or updated on this page, please contact interim editor Daryl Angier at daryl.angier@tc.tc or associate editor Tessie Sanci at tessie.sanci@tc.tc.

Aviva

Aviva Canada is on the ground helping customers in British Columbia affected by the wildfires.

Our Claims Customer Care team can be notified on a 24/7 basis and customers are urged to call 1 866 MY AVIVA  (1 866 692 8482) for immediate help and support with claims. For RBC customers, please call 1 800 769 2526, or #722 on a Bell or Rogers cell phone.

Two Aviva claims centres are open to help customers in Prince George and Kamloops. Both sites are open Monday to Sunday from 8 am – 8 pm (MST) Monday through Friday, 10 am – 4 pm (MST) Saturday and Sunday.

Prince George:
Prince George Golf & Curling Club
2601 Recplace Drive
Prince George, B.C.
V2L 4S1

Kamloops:
Coast Kamloops Hotel & Conference Centre
1250 Rogers Way
Kamloops, B.C.
V1S 1N5

Echelon Insurance

Our claims team remains on stand-by, and claims can be reported 24/7 to 1-888-547-9229.

As wildfires continue to develop across BC, Echelon is committed to assisting our customers with the expedition of claims payments and the introduction of a payment grace period until the state of emergency is lifted.

Expediting Claim Payments
With many BC residents displaced from their homes, we are taking action to provide payment for additional living expense claims as quickly and conveniently as possible. Our goal is to deliver payment to policyholders within 48 hours of an eligible claim submission. To make this happen, members of our claims team will be on-site in BC to expedite the release of payments. At this time, Echelon policyholders can opt to receive funds by Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) or Cheque. We are exploring additional payment methods, and will communicate as these options become available.

We request your continued assistance in collecting current contact and location information for your affected Echelon policyholders, so that we can reach and assist them as quickly as possible.

Payment Grace Periods
We have implemented a payment grace period for policyholders affected by ongoing wildfires across BC. Until further notice, no direct-billed BC policies will be cancelled for non-payment, and any NSF fees will be waived. We would suggest that you refrain from cancelling any broker-billed policies for non-payment, as Echelon will assume responsibility for any unpaid time on-risk on these policies.

We also realize that your focus is on assisting your customers and communities at this time, and that your brokerage may have been impacted by the wildfires. If your current circumstances prevent you from submitting your broker bill payment, please contact us to make alternate payment arrangements when you are in a position to do so.

We will continue to communicate with our brokers as this situation evolves, and encourage you to contact us if you have any questions.

Economical (UPDATED)

Economical Insurance has moved its Kamloops claims team to:

Lansdowne Village
Suite 211 - 450 Lansdowne Street, Kamloops
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Pacific, seven days a week

A second claims team in Prince George remains at the:

Coast Inn of the North
Hedrick Room (off the main lobby)
770 Brunswick Street, Prince George
8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Pacific, seven days a week

Both teams are actively supporting customers and broker partners throughout the claims process.

Economical customers impacted by the wildfires also can call our 24-hour emergency claims number at 1-800-661-4404.

Gore Mutual

Gore Mutual’s Wildfire Response Team is in Kamloops helping customers that have been impacted by the wildfires.

The Wildfire Response Team is currently at the Four Points Sheraton in Kamloops at 1175 Rogers Way meeting with customers who need help making a claim or have questions about their coverage. Customers can also call the company 24 hours a day at 1-800-265-8600 or email claimsreporting@goremutual.ca.

To ensure that customers can get back into their homes as soon as possible, Gore Mutual has dedicated local contractors and cleanup services that are ready to start working as soon as authorities lift evacuation orders for affected areas. Additional contractors from other parts of the country are on standby and will be flown to British Columbia if needed.

The company has created a video that includes information for customers who have been evacuated or are facing possible evacuation orders. It can be viewed here.

The Guarantee Company of North America

The Guarantee has implemented a dedicated Emergency Response Team to ensure delivery of exceptional customer service to broker partners and affected GUARANTEE GOLD®policyholders.

The Guarantee is committed to supporting customers and communities impacted by the wildfires. To further assist those most immediately in need, The Guarantee has donated $10,000 to the Canadian Red Cross B.C. Fires Appeal. (Press release link)  

GUARANTEE GOLD brokers in the affected areas have been individually contacted. The Guarantee is working collaboratively with broker partners to ensure that each customer is safely evacuated and has access to timely and relevant information, including coverage details and claims support.

The Guarantee’s Claims Management Team is on full alert and standing by to provide immediate support to customers as needed. The Team is also working closely with local third party adjusters. Senior claims adjusters will be deployed in B.C. as soon as authorities allow access to the affected areas to provide immediate, in-person claims support to our customers.

The Guarantee has a team of Claim experts ready in the event they are needed. Please report new claims to 1-888-998-1872 or reportnewclaim@theguarantee.com.

Insurance Bureau of Canada

The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), the national trade association that represents Canada’s 200 P&C insurers, deployed its Community Assistance Mobile Pavilion (CAMP) to the Kamloops region. CAMP staff will provide insurance information and advice to those affected by the fire.

IBC staff will answer insurance-related questions and help affected residents get in touch with their insurance representative to begin the claims process.  Residents can visit CAMP at:

Old Main Building of Thompson Rivers University
900 McGill Rd, Kamloops, BC V2C 0C8

In addition, policyholders can contact their insurance representative or the IBC Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2ask-IBC or askibcwest@ibc.ca.

Intact

Intact Insurance has been on site since Tuesday helping customers in both Kamloops and Prince George.

Kamloops
Thomson Rivers University

Prince George
College of New Caledonia

If customers require immediate financial support, email transfers are available to access funds without having to visit us in person or deposit a cheque.

It is understood that people may be away from their homes at this time and unable to access banking. Charges for NSF fees have been temporarily waived and cancellations will not be issued for non-payment of premiums for customers in these areas. These exceptions will remain in place until further notice.

Intact is providing free psychological counselling through a partnership with Solareh. Intact Insurance customers can call 1-866-539-6767 24/7 to arrange an appointment, or speak to someone right away.

The Intact emergency website, Intact Assist (www.intactassist.com), is frequently updated with current information for customers.

Customers who want to report a claim, or who have questions, can speak to an Intact representative on the 24/7 Claims Line 1-866-464-2424.

Intact is also communicating with brokers and customers on social media: Twitter, Facebook

Mutual Fire Insurance Company of British Columbia

Mutual Fire Insurance is monitoring the situation and our claims team is readily available by email, phone, and on the ground to provide support and guidance to you. We will utilize e-transfer or wire transfer to assist you as your claim comes in.

To receive your e-transfer or wire transfer, please be prepared to provide our representative with your e-mail address or banking information. We kindly ask that you keep all receipts associated with your emergency evacuation expenses.

How to Make a Claim
We are here to assist you. Please call us to file your claim at:

  • 604.881.1250 from Monday to Friday, 8:00am to 4:30pm.
  • 855.535.0554 outside of the above hours.

You may also email us directly at claimsreporting@mutualfirebc.com

Our thoughts are with the residents and communities affected by these wildfires. We share the deepest gratitude for the efforts made by all first responders and our hope is that they return home safely. Thank you to our broker partners for their offered support.

Northbridge Insurance

Our thoughts are with the residents and communities affected by the B.C. Interior wildfires. Rest assured our Catastrophe Claims Team is ready to assist our brokers and customers impacted by this tragedy. As soon as access is granted, our team will mobilize to the affected areas to provide assistance.

 To report a new claim:

Please contact us at 1.855.621.6262 or westernclaims@nbfc.com.

 Inquiries regarding reported claims:

The following individuals can provide assistance with claims that have already been reported:

Troy Nevens
Vice President, Claims Western Region
604.367.6800

Troy.Nevens@nbfc.com

Alfred DeSousa
Director Claims Field Operations / CAT Claims Coordinator
647.204.2149
Alfred.Desousa@nbfc.com

Please visit www.nbins.com for more information and updates on the situation.

Optimum West Insurance Company Inc.

Our claims team remains on stand-by to assist the residents and communities affected by the B.C. wildfires. With a number of these communities on evacuation/ evacuation notice we would like to provide you with a reminder about Optimum’s claim handling procedures:

The most effective method for reporting a new claims is via email: claims@optimumwest.bc.ca

Should the insured need to report a claim directly to our office during office hours (Mon- Fri 8:30am – 4:30pm), please have them call 1-800-663-0597

Any new claims requiring immediate emergency services outside of our office hours can be reported to our after-hours service at 1-877-806-8023

When reporting a claim please have available the following information: Policy Number; Name and phone number of the insured; Risk Address; Date of Loss; Type of Loss

The following coverages may be applicable under personal lines policies:

Additional Living Expenses for mass evacuation (4 weeks for comp. form / 2 weeks for broad form).  This coverage is subject to a deductible.

Food Spoilage – Home Freezer by the accidental interruption of electrical power on or off premises ($2500 for comp. form/ $1000 for broad form).  This coverage is not subject to a deductible.

Here are some tips to assist insureds should they indicate they may be interested in making a claim:

Retain all food, accommodation and other similar receipts during your evacuation period.

All damaged items should remain in place for our inspection unless it is unsafe to do so, in which case photos of the damages should be taken and detailed description(s) of the item(s) should be documented before discarding any damaged item(s).

Peace Hills

We are standing by to help. Our claims department can be reached at 1-800-272-5614.

Our claims team is setting up claim files for all of those policyholders that are located in the areas under an evacuation order and we have already made contact with many of them by phone. Policyholders that have not heard from one of our representatives can reach us at the following numbers:

Edmonton office Switchboard: 780-424-3986 or Toll free 1-800-272-5614
After Hours: 1-800-272-5614

More information about making a claim can be found on our website: https://www.peacehillsinsurance.com/emergency-claims

You can connect with Peace Hills insurance via their website or Twitter to receive ongoing notifications.

RSA

Our claims department can be reached at 1-800-319-9993 or rsa_newclaims@rsagroup.ca.

We have professional insurance staff available to ensure that those who have been impacted have the support and tools to address both their immediate and longer term needs.

More information about making a claim is available here: http://www.rsagroup.ca/make-claim.

We also have a tip sheet that you can share with your clients as they deal with the aftermath of the wildfire, available on www.rsabroker.ca.

SGI Canada

SGI CANADA has representatives on site in Prince George at the emergency evacuation centre at the College of New Caledonia (CNC), to provide immediate assistance to those who have been evacuated. They are there to provide guidance, emergency additional living expenses funds, and bottled water for our customers.

Mass evacuation coverage is provided to customers with Home Pak, Tenant Pak and Condo Pak policies.

During an evacuation order, accommodations, fuel, meals and transportation costs are some of the expenses that may be claimed under SGI CANADA policies. You should contact your SGI CANADA broker to begin the claims process. You can use this Records of Belongings form to start putting together a list of things that will need to be replaced. Coverage is subject to your deductible.

There will be no cancellation of any SGI CANADA personal or commercial property policies for evacuees if their policy expires or due to non-payment, for a period up to 30 days past the expiration or non-payment date.

Commercial customers with business interruption coverage are eligible for coverage following direct damage to your property or neighboring property.

Additional details are available on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/notes/sgi-canada/information-for-bc-evacuees/1326582407459352/.

All SGI CANADA insurance brokers are listed in our broker locator. If you don’t know who your broker is or can’t reach them, call our toll-free inquiry line at 1-877-435-1484.

Wawanesa (UPDATED)

With parts of British Columbia under a state of emergency, the safety of all those affected is our first priority. Our thoughts are with those impacted by this devastation, and we are committed to providing support where we can.

Resources have been mobilized and our claims representatives are available 24/7 to assist policyholders at 1-844-WAWANESA (929-2637). We have also setup a dedicated email address — wildfire@wawanesa.com — for our policyholders to get in touch and ask questions.

Temporary Wawanesa Claims Centers:

Kamloops
Lansdowne Village
Unit #211, 420 Lansdowne Street
Monday to Sunday 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Prince George
Prince George Secondary School
2901 Griffiths Avenue

Monday to Sunday 8:00 AM – 7:00 PM

HUB InternationalPine Centre Mall
3055 Massey Drive

Monday to Saturday 9:30 AM – 6:00 PM
Sunday 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Additional updates, resources, and information on submitting claims is available on our website at wawanesa.com/bcwildfire. You can also connect with Wawanesa on Facebook and Twitter to receive ongoing notifications.

Our staff are ready to assist policyholders and answer questions, please contact us should you need assistance.

Zurich

As many of you know from recent news reports, a provincial state of emergency has been declared in British Columbia, where out-of-control wildfires are causing serious damage and forcing the evacuation of tens of thousands from their homes. This high-level alert is expected to continue for at least several more days in various areas, amid evacuation orders and active fires.

Businesses are being impacted as well. Wildfires have already affected two large manufacturing facilities in the province. Threatened areas include Kamloops, Kelowna and possibly Prince George.

Control efforts for some of the larger fires could last for several more weeks and additional high-level risk wildfires could continue throughout the summer. As fire officials and government management teams work to fight these fires, please know that we are ready to assist any of our customers who may be affected.

We are here to help. For customers who need Claims assistance, please share this phone number: 1-866-345-3454

The Claims page on our Zurich Canada website can also be a helpful resource: https://www.zurichcanada.com/en-ca/claims

Please know that, as we continue to track these massive wildfires, we are ready to assist our customers now and in the coming weeks.

Other Information Resources

BC Wildfire Service Updates on wildfires of note. “Wildfires of note are wildfires which are highly visible or which pose a potential threat to public safety.”

Emergency Info BC British Columbia’s official channel for emergency alerts. The site provides updates on evacuation orders and alerts for all areas of the province.

DriveBC For the latest on road closures. Includes a variety of mobile information resources for travellers.

Canadian Red Cross – BC fires appeal

PreparedBC Twitter feed Preparedness tips and recovery info

EmergencyInfo BC Twitter feed Emergency alerts and notices

BC Wildfires – Frequently Asked Questions (via the CBC)

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