The Atlantic hurricane season ends every year on November 30th (it starts June 1st). Now that the 2008 season has come to a close it has been ranked as one of the most active in the last 64 years according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). With 16 named storms in 2008, eight were hurricanes of which five were classified as a Category 3 strength or higher.

How'd the 2008 season rank?

According to the NOAA, an average Atlantic hurricane season brings 11 named storms, with six becoming hurricanes, including two major hurricanes. The close of the 2008 hurricane season marks the tenth year in the past 14 to produce above-normal activity.

Hurricanes in Canada? Surely you jest?

According to Environment Canada's, Canadian Hurricane Centre (CHC), the number of tropical cyclones (a class of weather system under which a hurricane falls) that have affected Canada on average for the last 10 years is almost 5 per year (4.9 in fact). So, if you think only people living in the southern and eastern coastlines of the United States should be worried about hurricanes, think again. Canadian provinces, especially eastern shorelines, Quebec and even Ontario are not free from the possibility of a hurricane.

Of course most Canadians have heard of Hurricane Hazel, which hit Southern Ontario in 1954 resulting in 81 deaths and over $100 million in damage. However, more recent examples are easily found. In 2007, two tropical cyclones or their remnants (Chantal and Noel) hit the east coast and caused damage in various areas.

What'll your insurance cover if your area is hit by a hurricane?

Think you know what your insurance covers? Unfortunately, many people don't.

For example, did you know that under most home insurance policies, if your sewer backs up (and you have this coverage specifically included in your policy) you're covered. But, if you incur damage due to any other type of flooding you're not?

Just think about the damage a severe storm could cause to your home, and some of the questions that arise:

  • Will your home insurance policy cover the cost of damage to your roof due to high winds from a storm or hurricane?
  • Will your home insurance policy cover the cost of a tree falling against the house?
  • What if your home is destroyed? Will your policy cover its replacement?
  • If you have to leave your home-for any length of time-will your expenses be covered?
  • Will your policy cover damage that items on your property may cause to your neighbours' homes?
What about your auto insurance? What will it cover?
  • Do you know what you'd be covered for if a tree fell on your car?
  • Will your policy cover flood damage to your vehicle?

Take the quiz

Test your knowledge. We've set up a short quiz to answer all these questions and more.

Don't forget! After you take the quiz, get quotes from competing insurers to see if you could be saving money on your auto insurance, home insurance and travel insurance. Let the insurance companies quote you their best rate online, though

Take the quiz: Are you storm ready?

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