How does insurance work for forest fires?

Fire damage is covered under your home insurance policy – and that includes forest fires. Due to warmer-than-average temperatures and shifting precipitation patterns, more Canadians are experiencing forest fires firsthand. From British Columbia to Newfoundland, forest fires in Canada have consumed an average of 2.5 million hectares – approximately half of the province of Nova Scotia – a year since 1990. Unfortunately, uncontrolled forest fires can strike unexpectedly, causing intense damage to homes and properties. In the article below, we'll explore how home insurance works for forest fires, what to do if you've been impacted by a forest fire, and share some tips to help you keep your home safe if there are forest fires nearby.

If you're a TD Insurance customer, your home insurance policy includes coverage for fires. That means if your home is impacted by a forest fire, your policy will help to cover the cost to replace items that may have been damaged, like furniture, appliances, electronics, and clothing. Your home insurance coverage will also help to repair or rebuild your home following a forest fire – and provide additional living expenses if you need temporary accommodations because your home is uninhabitable due to a forest fire. In fact, your TD Insurance home insurance policy includes up to 90-days in additional living expenses if you and your family have been ordered to evacuate the area and are forced to leave your home because of a fire.

If your car is damaged due to a forest fire, this would be covered under your car insurance policy – even if your vehicle was damaged in your garage, or driveway. To ensure your car is protected against damage caused by a forest fire, you'll need to have Specified Perils, All Perils or Comprehensive Insurance. Comprehensive car insurance is usually required by your lender if your car is leased or financed, but it's optional if you own your vehicle outright. Depending on your needs, you may want to consider adding Specified Perils, All Perils or Comprehensive Insurance to your existing car insurance policy. Log into your TD Insurance My Insurance account to review your coverage.

What should you do if you've been impacted by a Forest Fire?

If you've been impacted by a forest fire, take care of yourself – and of course, follow emergency evacuation guidelines, updates, and alerts. We understand that the days following a fire can be incredibly stressful. However, it's a good idea to contact your insurance provider to start your claim as soon as you can. If you're a TD Insurance customer, you can start your claim online. You'll have a dedicated TD Insurance Claims Advisor to help support you every step of the way. They'll confirm the details of your loss and if necessary, arrange for temporary accommodation for you and your family.

Don't re-enter your home until you've received confirmation from local authorities that your home is safe. If you've been given the all-clear, take photos to document any damages, and keep an inventory of possessions you may need to replace. Those photos will be helpful as your TD Insurance Claims Advisor works to process your claim. You may also want to reach out to counsellors and community resources for help. You've just gone through an intense experience and may benefit from some extra support.

How can I keep my home safe if there's a forest fire nearby?

If you live in an area that could be affected by forest fires, there are a few ways that you can protect your home. First, you'll want to be prepared in case you need to evacuate – so have important items like documents and medicine packed, and an emergency contact list ready to go in case you have to leave your home quickly. Next, look around your property and clear away any potentially flammable vegetation and debris. Regularly trim trees and shrubs on your property and if possible, don't store propane tanks close to your home. Finally, have an emergency plan and review it with your family to make sure that everyone knows what to do in case of a fire.

The days following a fire are incredibly stressful, however, you can rest-assured that your home insurance will cover damages to your home and belongings, as outlined in your policy. If you'd like to insure your vehicle against forest fires too, consider adding Comprehensive, All Perils or Specified Perils coverage to your car insurance policy.

Learn more about your coverage by logging into your TD Insurance MyInsurance account.

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The content on this page is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Coverages described herein may be subject to additional eligibility criteria, limitations and exclusions. In the event you make a claim, potential indemnification is also subject to the receivability of the claim and the type of coverage you bought.

In the case of conflict between the content on this page and your policy wordings, your policy wordings shall take precedence. Please speak to an Advisor or consult your policy wordings for further details.