IBC calls on Ontario to prepare for wildfire season

Forecasts predicting above-average wildfire risks

IBC calls on Ontario to prepare for wildfire season

Catastrophe & Flood

By Mika Pangilinan

As Ontario faces an elevated risk of wildfires, the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is advising  residents to take necessary precautions to protect themselves and their properties.

The province has already issued numerous wildfire warnings and watches, with Environment Canada forecasting weather conditions that bring above-average wildfire risks from June through August.

Kim Donaldson, IBC’s Ontario vice president, expressed concern over the current outlook.

“With hot, dry weather in the immediate forecast, wildfires can spread very quickly and residents in affected areas may have only moments to evacuate,” said Donaldson. “Wildfires are a real and present danger, especially if you live in a heavily forested area. However, there are steps you can take to help protect your family, your home, or your business.”

Ontario’s wildfire season extends until October 31, IBC stated in a release, and residents are encouraged to stay informed about forest fire danger, activity, and restrictions through the government’s Forest Fires page.

Ontario’s interactive fire map also provides real-time updates on active fires, current fire danger levels, and restricted fire zones, the release added.

“IBC is urging Ontarians to stay alert and follow the advice of local authorities when it comes to fire bans,” said Donaldson. “In the event that you are evacuated, make sure you plan to be out of your home for more than a couple of days. As we've seen from the recent wildfires in Western and Atlantic Canada, individuals and families have been displaced for several days.”

Virtually every home insurance policy covers damage caused by fire, according to IBC, even if the fire originated from a neighbouring property, as long as it was not intentionally started by the policyholder or a member of their household.

Ontarians with general inquiries about their home, business, or car insurance policies can reach out to IBC’s consumer information centre at 1-844-2ask-IBC (1-844-227-5422). Information about insurance coverage and the various stages of the claims process is also available on the IBC wildfires page.

Earlier this week, IBC announced that it would be supporting residents impacted by the wildfires in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick through its Community Assistance Mobile Pavilion (CAMP).

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