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SGI Canada customers evacuated by Saskatchewan wildfires have mass evacuation coverage


September 5, 2017   by Canadian Underwriter


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SGI Canada policyholders in areas affected by the wildfires in northern Saskatchewan will have mass evacuation coverage in place for 30 days and should be assured that personal and commercial property policies will not be cancelled for 30 days in the event of expiration or non-payment.

The northern Saskatchewan wildfires have forced hundreds to evacuate their homes and communities, notes a statement Friday from SGI.

All SGI Canada customers evacuated from affected communities who have a personal property policy – this could be Prestige, home, mobile home, tenant, condo or Agro Pak – have mass evacuation coverage, subject to limitations in their policies.

The coverage specifically includes expenses for hotel/motel stays or subsidies for those staying with friends or family members, as well as other expenses related to the evacuation, including fuel, meals and transportation costs, SGI reports.

Noting that related costs can be covered for as long a period of 30 days, it is advised that SGI Canada customers save all receipts should they need to submit claims.

Insurance payouts are subject to the policy’s deductible. “Your coverage limit will depend on the value of your home (or in the case of a tenant or condo owner, belongings),” notes an information sheet from SGI, which provides links policyholders may find helpful.

If a customer has any of the aforementioned home insurance policies, he or she has “coverage if your home or cabin is destroyed by fire, and you may be eligible for coverage for a smoke damage claim,” the information states.

Related: Elevated wildfire danger levels continue in Manitoba

For business owners with an SGI Canada commercial property policy, there is coverage if fire destroys the building.

“If you have business interruption coverage as part of your commercial property policy, you are eligible for coverage following direct damage to your property or a neighbouring property. This coverage is not triggered by an evacuation, but if there is damage as a result, you are covered,” the information explains.

Andrew Cartmell, President and CEO of SGI

Andrew Cartmell, President and CEO of SGI

In addition, personal or commercial property policies provided by SGI Canada for those in affected areas “will not be cancelled if their policy expires or due to non-payment, for a period up to 30 days past the expiration or non-payment date.”

The same applies for Saskatchewan Auto Fund customers who have been evacuated, SGI reports. They “do not have to worry about their insurance lapsing while they are away from their home and unable to renew their driver’s licence or vehicle plate insurance,” the statement notes.

SGI president and CEO Andrew Cartmell (pictured right) encourages SGI Canada “customers to contact their insurance broker, as they may be eligible for coverage of living expenses while displaced from their homes.”

With regard to auto, Cartmell adds, “if a customer incurs a claim, customers will be able to renew their expired driver’s licence or vehicle plate and access Auto Fund coverage, subject to their deductible.”

Related: ICBC reports 124 claims and $500,000 in costs from wildfires to date