When they happen (and they do), will you be covered?

At the end of the hurricane season, 2007, the Atlantic provinces were hit by what was left of Hurricane Noel, the deadliest tropical storm of the year. By the time it hit, Noel was classified a post-tropical storm and dealt parts of the region with wind gusts of up to 180 km/h at times, and rainfall in some regions as much as 130 millimetres. While anywhere from 175,000 to 200,000 people were without power and some highways were washed out, thankfully, there were no serious injuries reported in the Maritimes.

There was however, property damage; flying roofing and bricks caused damage to homes and vehicles as did uprooted trees that were toppled--not to mention damage caused by getting that much rain in so little time.

How'd the 2007 hurricane season rank to past seasons?

Hurricane season typically starts June 1st and runs through to November 30th. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), an average Atlantic hurricane season brings 11 named storms, with six becoming hurricanes, including two major hurricanes.

The 2007 hurricane season produced a total of 14 named storms with six hurricanes of which two became intense (meaning a category 3 or higher.)

But we don't get hurricanes in Canada, do we?

According to Environment Canada's, Canadian Hurricane Centre (CHC), the number of tropical cyclones (the classification under which a hurricane falls) that have affected Canada on average for the last 10 years is almost 5 per year. Eastern Canadian 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 alone, two tropical cyclones or their remnants (Chantal and Noel) hit the east coast and caused damage in various areas.

Of course, there was Hurricane Juan in September 2003; eight people died, hundreds of thousands of trees were toppled, power was out for 300,000 people across the region (in some cases for a week), and a line of railcars were knocked off their track in Halifax habour.

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 to test your knowledge

Kanetix.ca has set up a fascinating short quiz to answer all these questions and more. Find out if your storm ready today, and take the quiz: Are you storm ready?

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