Fiona wrecked the house, but these homeowners still owe their home insurance. CBC News

This is all that remains of Debbie Farrell’s house in Porto aux Basques. (Courtesy of Velda Tap-Pretty)

Two homeowners in Port aux Basques were hit by a post-tropical storm. rejection.

A storm surge from Fiona six weeks ago destroyed Debbie Farrell’s home and caused extensive damage to Velda Tap Pretty’s home, which was said to have to be demolished.

Yet the two women continue to pay their policies to Aviva Insurance, even though the adjusters have already suggested the claims are likely to be dismissed.

“That’s why I’m paying for home insurance that I haven’t lived in for six weeks,” said Tapp-Pretty.

After CBC asked Aviva Insurance to respond to homeowners’ concerns, the company reached out to the women and told them that refusal letters were now being mailed.

hope against hope

Debbie Farrell and husband Robert Dix have paid their insurance premiums twice since Fiona.

One reason Farrell is still paying is because she was hopeful after being told there was a 99% chance her insurance wouldn’t cover the destruction of her home.

“There’s a 1% chance, so I’m paying for it,” Farrell said early Thursday, before being informed that her rejection letter was in the mail.

Tapp-Pretty’s understanding was that in order to apply for government disaster financial assistance, they would either have to keep paying or risk not being able to obtain the necessary documentation.

“If you cancel your policy without paying your premiums, you may miss the letter you need to submit to the government,” Tapp-Pretty said earlier this week.

Velda Tapp-Pretty initially thought it might be possible to repair her house, but government officials informed her that the structure was so badly damaged that it would have to be demolished. . (Courtesy of Velda Tap-Pretty)

hesitated to get financial aid

Previously, two homeowners were unable to apply for disaster financial assistance due to delays in receiving rejection letters from Aviva.

The property must be considered a total loss and uninsured property before proceeding with the claim process.

Others in Southwestern Newfoundland affected by Fiona are in a similar situation and are waiting to be able to proceed with the process.

insurance advice

CBC has engaged Aviva Insurance to address the homeowner’s concerns. Aviva’s representative, Mann Insurance, said in an emailed statement that homeowners can cancel their insurance policies at any time.

“This does not affect their claims. However, if they maintain their policy, they retain liability. “It’s valuable coverage to help defend against action,” reads the statement. You can also compensate for personal property regardless.”

According to the Canadian Insurance Authority, there are a variety of reasons why homeowners must continue to pay even after their home is destroyed, even if insurance doesn’t cover it.

For example, according to Gloria Haydock, IBC’s Consumer and Industrial Relations Manager, the policy is that if something is salvaged and moved to another location, such as a shed or garage that survives damage, It may also cover the contents of the house. Maintaining the policy, she said, could also be a requirement for homeowners’ mortgage contracts.

“If your home is considered a total loss, most insurance professionals actually suggest keeping your home insurance policy,” says Haydock.

Haydock said it’s best for homeowners to seek guidance on what and when to maintain their insurance policies and keep payments after a loss.

“Every situation is unique and families have different needs when rebuilding their lives,” Haydock said.

As to why it takes so long for denial letters to be mailed in disaster-hit areas, Haydock says insurance claim investigations can be complicated and require the help of structural engineers and other professionals. I mentioned that an evaluation might be required and it could simply take time.

She said anyone with general insurance questions can call the IBC Consumer Information Center at 1-844-227-5422.

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