IBC tells Albertans to brace for "another intense wildfire year"

Lessons from last year were highlighted

IBC tells Albertans to brace for "another intense wildfire year"

Catastrophe & Flood

By Terry Gangcuangco

As the threat of wildfires looms large over Alberta this year, the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is calling on Albertans to be prepared.

Rob de Pruis, IBC’s national director for consumer and industry relations, stressed the urgency of the situation, noting that Alberta Wildfire personnel are already responding to multiple fires across the province.

“During the record-breaking 2023 wildfire season, fires started very early, spread extremely quickly, and kept emergency responders busy throughout the year,” de Pruis noted. “In many cases, residents in affected areas had only a short time to evacuate. And 2024 promises to be another intense wildfire year.

“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."

Albertans can refer to the Government of Alberta’s wildfire webpage and its wildfire status dashboard for up-to-date information on fire dangers, active fires, and fire bans.

Underscoring the necessity of heeding local authorities’ fire ban directives and preparing for potential evacuation scenarios that may go beyond a couple of days, de Pruis recalled instances from last year where individuals and families were displaced for extended periods.

The IBC reassured that both homeowner’s and tenant’s insurance policies typically cover wildfire damage, including the costs for temporary accommodations if evacuations are mandated.

However, new policy purchases could be temporarily restricted during imminent threats from wildfires or major weather events, making it essential for Albertans to review their coverage in advance.

The IBC also offers guidance and support for Albertans who have inquiries about their insurance policies through its Consumer Information Centre, which is accessible via phone at 1-844-2ask-IBC or online at ibc.ca.

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