Wildfires and Insurance

2016 Wood Buffalo wildfire:
insurance claim deadline extended

The Insurance Act sets out a 2-year deadline for claims to be settled. The first insured losses from the fire were reported on May 3, 2016. Additional losses were reported in the days that followed.

As of May 10, 2018, 97% of the residential insurance claims resulting from the disaster have been settled, according to the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC). This means about 900 residential claims remain unresolved, of which 85% have received an extension.

The vast majority of insurance companies have agreed to provide extensions voluntarily. Government has indicated that if companies choose not to grant an extension, government is prepared to amend legislation.

Any residents experiencing difficulties with their insurance claims are encouraged to contact Alberta's Superintendent of Insurance at 780-643-2237 or tbf.insurance@gov.ab.ca.

Additional Information:

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If you are impacted by wildfires:

  • Contact your insurance company, agent or broker.

  • If you need help identifying who your insurance company is, contact the Insurance Bureau of Canada:
  • Keep any receipts for expenses incurred.

  • Most home and tenant's insurance policies provide coverage for additional living expenses if residents are required to leave their homes because of a mandatory evacuation order or if they are unable to return to their homes.

  • Your insurance company may reimburse you for reasonable expenses to cover food, lodging, and other necessities. It is important to keep receipts for expenses you have incurred.

  • Contact your insurance provider to see if you are eligible.

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Property Insurance

Nearly all property insurance policies provide coverage for fire, including but not limited to wildfire. Property insurance is not a mandatory product, unlike basic automobile insurance. This means each insurance company establishes its own property insurance policy wording, coverage limits, and price. Call your insurance company, agent or broker to assist you.

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Vehicle Insurance

Damage to vehicles from fire is usually covered under an automobile insurance policy if you have purchased comprehensive or all perils coverage. This coverage is not mandatory. Check your policy or contact your insurance provider.

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If you have questions, you can contact Insurance Bureau of Canada's Consumer Information Centre:

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Claim disputes

Please see our web page: Getting your Insurance Claim Settled: Know your Options.

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Links to insurance resources

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Disaster Recovery Programs

Disaster recovery programs (DRPs) provide financial assistance for uninsurable property damage, loss and other expenses after an extraordinary event. Municipalities apply for DRP on behalf of residents.

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Preparing for emergencies and emergency updates

For information, please refer to the Government of Alberta web pages below:

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Page last updated:  September 16, 2018