Canadians are not aware of what their home insurance policies cover, finds a Pollara survey.

Read: Check home insurance policies before renovating

The poll was commissioned by the Insurance Bureau of Canada to find out if Canadians are prepared to protect their families and properties against severe weather.

It revealed the majority haven’t actively prepared for or considered it effects, with only 8% of respondents saying people in their communities have done so.

“The insurance industry is on the front lines when disaster strikes, so we would like to see these numbers improve,” says Don Forgeron, IBC president and CEO.


Disasters have a “costly and devastating impact,” he adds. “Insured losses as a result of severe weather have reached more than $1 billion in each of the past four years.”

Other findings include:

  • 50% of Canadians believe damage to their homes due to severe weather is likely to happen in the next 10 to 15 years.
  • Almost three quarters say their municipal sewer systems will be able to handle the amount of water produced by storms in the next decade.
  • Overall, Canadians don’t have good awareness of which weather damage is covered and which isn’t.

Case in point: only 46% of respondents know home insurance generally covers damage caused by a tree destroying a roof during a tornado, while less than half (46%) know damage from landslides and snowslides isn’t covered.

Read: Canada not tornado-proof

Further, only 39% know policies don’t cover windstorm damage to trees. Other problems such sewer back up damages roof collapses due to snow and ice accumulation are only covered by some policies.

The lesson? Tell clients to review their home insurance policies and emergency plans so they can protect their homes and assets.