Insurance Bureau Encourages Ontarians To Prepare For Heavy Rainfall And Mid-Winter Thaw


With Environment Canada issuing special weather statements and alerts across parts of Ontario in advance of strong winds and heavy rainfall forecasted for Thursday, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is sharing tips to help Ontarians mitigate risk of damage to their property.

“Following the extreme cold conditions seen across Ontario last week, this warm-weather system has the potential to lead to significant snowmelt, ice jams and flooding,” said Kim Donaldson, Vice-President, Ontario, IBC. “With heavy winds and rainfall added to the mix, this storm could result in extensive damage. We encourage residents to take a few simple steps now to help protect their property from damage.”

IBC’s Top 10 Tips to Prepare for Severe Weather
  1. Keep all of your floor drains clear of obstructions.
  2. Make sure downspouts are clear of debris and that they direct water away from your home to help prevent ice-damming and basement flooding.
  3. Move valuable items out of your basement to higher levels in your home.
  4. Create an emergency preparedness plan for your family and assemble disaster safety kits for your home, car and office.
  5. If you have a detailed home inventory, check that it is up to date.
  6. Prepare for power outages. Have flashlights and portable lighting ready. When using candles, always be mindful of fire hazards.
  7. Protect or move property that might be damaged by flying debris. Park vehicles in a garage, if possible.
  8. Have someone check your property if you are away.
  9. Charge electronics and have backup power sources available.
  10. If you need to drive, clear all of the snow and ice from your vehicle before you start out. Drive according to the conditions and do not drive over flooded roads.
Rest Easier. Know What’s Covered. 

The frequency and severity of storms is increasing across Canada, and it’s important to speak with your insurance representative to make sure you have appropriate coverage.

  • Water damage in a basement due to sewer backup is only covered if you have purchased specific, optional sewer backup coverage.
  • Damage to homes caused by wind is usually covered. This coverage includes damage caused by flying debris, falling branches or trees, and water entering through openings created by the storm.
  • If you have purchased comprehensive or all perils auto insurance, damage to vehicles from wind is usually covered. This coverage is not mandatory, so check your policy.
  • In certain circumstances, homeowners who are unable to return home due to insured damage are entitled to additional living expenses.

Anyone with questions about their individual policy should contact their insurance representative.

For general insurance information, contact IBC’s Consumer Information Centre at 1–844-2ask-IBC (1-844-227-5422) or visit


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