British Columbia Sun

B.C. flood survivor alerts to check insurance amid an upsurge in climate catastrophes


Key takeaways: 

  • Specialists say that eight hundred thousand properties in high-risk areas across Canada stay ineligible for coverage.
  • Floodwaters covered the community of Merritt, B.C., on Nov. 16, 2021, after severe rain started the city’s evacuation.

A survivor of British Columbia’s disastrous floods last year is alerting others to review their insurance policies after she said she got a payout of just $30,000 when her house, assessed at $414,000, was ruined.

Pam Velt, whose home collapsed into the Nicola River the previous November, said she and her spouse, Paulus, were utterly insured.

“We thought we were protected,” she stated. “I eventually have realized that we have no house left. And everything we’ve worked our butts off for is gone.”

The Velts had newly started their retirement on the rural property along Highway 8 west of Merritt, B.C., and prepared to leave it to their kid, who also stayed with them. They are now billeting in a 12-foot trailer with help from the Canadian Red Cross.

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A survivor of British Columbia’s disastrous floods last year is alerting others

Despite paying additional for overland flood insurance, which covers harm from hefty rainfall and flooding rivers, Velt said they were stunned at the payout amount and are fighting it.

A copy of the Velts’ insurance coverage reveals their central policy has $674,050 in property coverage, including $313,500 for their house and other coverage for other structures, private property, and failure of use. Under further and optional coverage, the overland flood insurance amount is listed as $30,000.

Their insurer, Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Company, stated its privacy claims to its policyholders. It could not remark on the specifics of a claim or data of a conflict.

There are some possibilities open to policyholders who counter the firm’s decisions, including reaching the General Insurance OmbudService and the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada.

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