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LETTER: Costs result following environmental disasters

Homeowners urged to check conditions in insurance policies
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Dear Editor:

The Canadian government has set up a $300 million fund to help Atlantic provinces and parts of Quebec recover from destruction left behind by storm Fiona last month, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Tuesday, Oct. 4.

Troops have also been sent to help restore power to the area. Fortis and other companies have sent personnel to help.

READ ALSO: VIDEO: Nova Scotians view damage, begin post-Fiona clean-up

READ ALSO: Albas presses feds for Princeton flood relief

Here in B.C., some help came from the provincial government when Merritt and the Fraser Valley were hit with floods. However, as far as I know, little money came to these B.C. communities from the federal government.

When devastation hits areas from storms like the Fiona Hurricane, where does the responsibility lie to help? When a homeowner’s house is flooded, or even swept away, who should take the blame for getting it repaired or replaced?

When a dam built by the provincial government breaks and hundreds of homes are destroyed who pays? The province? The municipality? The corporation that built the dam? When a windstorm brings down a hydro pole which smashes a house to pieces, who is to blame, and who pays? Fortis? BC Hydro?

Probably many folks who face the chance that a wildfire, a tornado, a hurricane or a flood could destroy their home simply don’t have enough insurance to cover replacement costs of the home and definitely not enough to cover replacing contents.

It is the responsibility of the homeowner to make certain that they have the coverage required, so that they won’t have to beg for government assistance.

The $300 million of “government assistance” is another term for taxpayer dollars.

With climate change, this won’t be the last time we will require government assistance. Be prepared, check your insurance policies. Our policy is over 100 pages long with more than 70 pages in fine print describing all the things not covered. Yikes!

Frank Martens


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