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Is my home or car covered from storm damage? In most cases yes, insurance bureau says

By Michael Lee, Writer

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    Toronto, Canada (CTV Network) — The damage across southern Ontario and Quebec remains extensive after a severe storm swept through the provinces over the weekend, leaving hundreds of thousands without power and killing at least 10 people as of Monday afternoon.

As residents recover from the wreckage and wait for their power to be restored, many may be wondering whether their homes and cars are covered in extreme weather situations, such as the one seen Saturday.

The Insurance Bureau of Canada says damage from wind is usually covered, but to ask an insurance representative to confirm what losses are included in their policy.

Most people can expect their home insurance to cover damage caused by hail, wind, snow or rain, including flying debris, falling branches or trees, as well as an contents that may become lost.

Vehicle damage is usually covered if a driver’s auto insurance policy is comprehensive or includes optional all risk coverage, the bureau says. Mobile homes or trailers may be covered, but policyholders should ask their insurance representative.

Meanwhile, anyone who is unable to live in their home because of insurable damage may receive additional coverage for living expenses.

The bureau says when starting a claim process, be as detailed as possible when providing information, list all damages and destroyed items, gather proof of purchase, photos, receipts and warranties if able, and keep receipts for cleanup and living expenses if displaced. AFTER THE STORM

The storm is being described as a “derecho,” a type of rare, but powerful windstorm that creates “a long line of very active thunderstorms or microburst kind of situations,” Environment Canada senior climatologist David Phillips told Newstalk 580 CFRA’s Live with Andrew Pinsent on Sunday.

Ottawa reported wind gusts of up to 120 km/h during the storm, while other places saw even stronger winds.

Western University’s Northern Tornadoes Project surveyed locations in Uxbridge, Ont., and southern Ottawa on Sunday for possible tornado damage. A team is also investigating damage in Rawdon, Que.

Power could be out for a few more days in some areas. Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson has encouraged residents to work from home this week as the cleanup continues.

Ottawa Public Health says food in the fridge will usually last for about four to six hours during a power outage, as long as the door remains shut. Bags of ice can be used to help perishable items last longer.

However, after eight hours, the health unit says hazardous food items such as meat, seafood, dairy, processed or cut fruits and vegetables, and cooked rice and pasta should be tossed out if a fridge can’t be kept below 4 C.

A full upright or chest freezer will keep food frozen for up to 48 hours during a power failure, the health unit says, and about 24 hours in a half-full freezer.

With files from CTV News Ottawa Digital Multi-Skilled Journalists Ted Raymond and Josh Pringle, as well as The Canadian Press

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Article Topic Follows: CNN - Regional

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