The devastating house fires in a northwest Calgary community Tuesday have prompted many homeowners to consider how prepared they are for a disaster.
Beyond the obvious emotional impact, the insurance process can add an entirely new layer of stress.
In December 2015, Michael and Bonnie Peck’s Airdrie home was damaged when their neighbours’ house burned down.
Insurance covered the physical repairs but they were not prepared for the claim process to replace personal belongings and contents.
“There are certain things the insurance company is looking for in terms of what you lost and how to go about proving it.” said Michael. “You’re so overwhelmed with everything else that’s going on, that it’s hard to think about all that stuff at the time.”
Insurance experts say before it’s too late, homeowners should document household and personal belongings on paper and with video or pictures.
That is especially important for anything that’s extremely valuable or sentimental.
“Any contents that are limited or excluded under the policy, that may be an invitation to top those up to schedule them, especially contents that may hard to prove their existence or value”, Ross Bucsis of Westland Insurance said.
Bucsis recommends talking with your broker and making sure you are covered in case of an emergency.
For starters, he suggests reviewing the value of your house every five years to make sure you have guaranteed replacement costs for the building.
© 2016 Shaw Medai