October 19, 2016 3:52 pm
Updated: October 19, 2016 8:05 pm

Cape Bretoners frustrated with insurance companies as flood cleanup continues

WATCH ABOVE: Some Cape Breton residents are getting frustrated with insurance companies they say aren’t doing enough. Global's Natasha Pace reports.


As Sydney, N.S, residents continue the painstaking task of clearing their damaged homes, some are getting frustrated with insurance companies they say aren’t doing enough.

So far, 24 homes have been deemed not habitable by the municipality. Officials say they still have another 200 to inspect.

READ MORE: Cape Bretoners assess flood damage unleashed in wake of devastating storm

Tom McNeil and Karen MacDonald’s home on St. Peter’s Road is among the hardest hit homes. The couple lost nearly everything in the flood.

“Approximately two months ago we actually paid the house off and Karen was saying, at least we have our house and if all else fails we have our house. And then that fateful Monday, we don’t have a house,” he said.

McNeil says people are pulling together following the disaster, but says he’s upset that he and other flood victims are getting nothing from their insurance.

READ MORE: Nova Scotia government giving $500,000 to Cape Breton storm cleanup

“Community came through, neighbours came through, friends came through big time,” said McNeil. “The government appears it’s coming through financially…the one group you actually paid into, it didn’t come through.”

“They would say you didn’t have a policy for that – well there was no opportunity for a policy for that, they also will say things like an act of God, well my argument to that is it wasn’t an act of God, it was an act of a person or people who put together a policy that would disallow you from claiming.”

Most insurance policies will cover water damage but not flooding.

McNeil feels insurance companies are only looking after their own interests and not helping those in need. He hopes this disaster will change how they operate in the future.

“If they designed their policies that they would actually help you in a time of need, it’s a whole different thing,” McNeil said.

“They just keep putting it back to an act of nature, an act of something else. They aren’t looking at their own acts of how they design policies to not help people, that would actually have to go to lawyers to fight. We didn’t have to go to lawyers to fight with the government, we didn’t have to go to lawyers to have our friends and neighbours help us.”

READ MORE: Cape Breton musicians rally together following flood

Since the Thanksgiving Day floods the Cape Breton Regional municipality has received over 1,000 calls from people looking for information and help.

An information session is scheduled to get underway at the Glace Bay fire station by a number of organizations including the Insurance Bureau of Canada and EMO to try and guide residents through the next steps.

Another storm is expected to cross much of Nova Scotia, including Cape Breton this weekend coming. According to Environment Canada, the storm could bring heavy rains that could cause localized flooding.

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