BC Wildfire

British Columbia, we’re here for you. Ongoing wildfires are expected to spread rapidly and affect air quality in the coming hours and we want you to be prepared. Environment Canada has announced a special air quality alert and estimates the impact of wildfire smoke to carry out over the next 24-48 hours. 

 

A wildfire can spread rapidly so it is important to follow the direction of local authorities at all times. During a wildfire, significant damage to buildings may occur and you may need to evacuate. Every year, homes are damaged by weather-related events, and homeowners are subjected to the considerable costs and stress that result. Please see below for fire damage prevention tips to protect yourself and your property.

 

Important Claims Information

 

Please note that we may experience high call volumes and wait times in the event of an extreme weather event.

 

To make a claim at any time please call 1-800-804-0087. You are also able to make a claim online through the Claims Point™ portal±. For more information on claims please visit our claims page.

 

Once a claim has been submitted, a claims adjuster will usually contact you within 24-48 hours, however, please note some delays are to be expected.

 

When a claims adjuster calls, customers should have the following information available:

 

  • Best contact method (email, mobile, work or home phone).
  • Address where damages occurred.
  • A detailed description of the loss and damages where possible.
  • The name and contact information of any contractor who has already begun repair to the property.
  • Customers should hold onto any receipts, photos or other relevant information pertaining to damages.

 

Fire Damage Prevention Tips

 


1. Trim trees and remove organic debris 

  • Trim trees and bushes within 10 metres of your home to prevent fires from spreading and reaching your home.1
  • Remove all organic and combustible debris from your roof, gutters, deck and yard.2

 

2. Use fire-resistant materials throughout the home

  • Use fire resistant roofing and siding materials.
  • Cover chimneys with non-combustible screening.
  • Ensure that you have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors installed in your home and that their batteries are working.
  • Avoid flammable curtains on your windows - opt for metal blinds.
  • Consider installing fire shutters or screens that can be quickly placed over windows and vents should the fire move closer to your home.
  • Exterior windows should be double-paned and tempered glass that are non-combustible.
  • Screens should be corrosion resistant screens and shutters should be non-combustible.
  • Exterior glass doors and skylights should have double-paned, tempered glass.
  • Maintain access to attics, crawl spaces and under deck areas so that hot spots can quickly be identified and extinguished before they have a chance to spread.
  • Place a fire extinguisher on each floor of your home.

 

3. Have an evacuation plan

  • Follow the directions of local authorities, and follow evacuation orders if given. Do not deviate from the evacuation plan. 
  • Ensure emergency vehicles have access to your home by keeping fire lanes clear and driveways accessible. 
  • Put together a disaster safety kit, which should include a carry case for your pet and appropriate supplies.
  • Fill all pools, cisterns, hot tubs, etc., with water. Hose down your house with water, if time permits.
  • Call your family members, friends or co-workers to tell them your whereabouts.

 

4. Make sure your emergency supply kit is up to date
 

Here are some of the things you should consider putting in your emergency kit:

 

  • 3 days' worth of water and nonperishable food for each member of your family.
  • A manual can opener.
  • A hand-crank or battery-powered radio so you can stay up to date on advisories.
  • Cash, flashlights, and extra batteries.
  • Food, water, and toys for your pets.
  • Infant formula and diapers, if necessary.
  • Entertainment such as books, magazines, and battery-power electronics.
  • Medications, a first-aid kit, hand sanitizer, toilet paper, and trash bags.
  • Solar chargers for cell phones and other electronics.
  • Copies of important documents, like insurance policies, emergency contact info, and IDs.
  • A warm blanket or sleeping bag for everyone in the family.
  • At least one change of clothing.
  • A fire extinguisher.

 

Be sure to store your kit in a place where it's easy to grab and go.
 

5. Review your insurance policy

  • Be familiar with what your policy covers you for.  If you’re unsure, contact your insurer or broker to review and ensure you are adequately protected for the perils of extreme weather.
  • If safe to do so, separate damaged property from undamaged property and prepare an inventory of what has been lost or damaged.

 
Sources:

1 http://assets.ibc.ca/Documents/Brochures/Wildfire-Safety.pdf
2 http://assets.ibc.ca/Documents/Brochures/Wildfire-Safety.pdf

 

±Claims Point™ is not available in Quebec. 

 

Claims Point™ is a registered trademark of RSA Insurance Group plc, used under license, and is managed and serviced by Unifund Assurance Company (“Unifund”).  Johnson Inc. and Unifund share common ownership.


The contents of this website are provided for your general information only. Nothing on this site alters the terms or conditions of any insurance policy.  Read your policy for a complete description of coverage and contact your insurance provider for coverage and policy details.