Arthur will be major event for insurance industry

Property owners should revisit their insurance policies

Darrell Cole
Published on July 9, 2014
Mike Stack, the vice-president of Archway Insurance, says damage caused by a tropical storm last weekend should be a wake-up call for people to check their property's insurance policy.
Darrell Cole -

The vice-president of Archway Insurance says damage caused by a tropical storm last weekend should be a wake-up call for people to check their property's insurance policy.

AMHERST – Last weekend’s wind storm should encourage people to check their insurance policies and look after trees around their property, says the vice-president of Archway Insurance.

Mike Stack said the company’s Amherst office was quite busy earlier this week handling claims from damage caused by trees, while Archway Insurance’s other offices in the region were just as busy.

“It was very busy, but not as busy as it could have been,” Stack said. “We had a lot of calls about trees falling and hitting power masts on homes or limbs and branches falling on homes or cars. There was some shingle damage as well.”

Stack said most people’s home insurance policies cover damage caused by wind, but suggested now would be a time for home and business owners to talk to their broker to make sure.

One thing that isn’t covered, however, is tree damage that doesn’t impact a house, business or vehicle. He said people are on their own to cover the cost of trees that fall ont their property.

Stack said there were a few calls from the Amherst area about damage to houses and vehicles caused by trees, but there were more calls from clients in the Parrsboro area where the damage appeared to be more widespread.

Archway Insurance has offices throughout the province, including Yarmouth – near where the storm first made landfall in the Maritimes. Combined with damage caused by wind and rain in New Brunswick, Stack expects the remnants of Arthur will lead to claims not seen since hurricane Juan struck Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island in September 2003.

“This is a major event for our industry. It’s probably the worst we’ve seen in the last 10 years. It’s up there near Juan,” Stack said. “It won’t be as bad, but it’ll be up there.”

While Cumberland County didn’t see the damage or experience the power outages seen in the Annapolis Valley and central New Brunswick, Stack said it should provide a wake-up call to everyone to make sure they have appropriate coverage and to look around their property at what could cause trouble in a storm like this.

“I’m not saying to go out and cut down all your trees because having trees makes your property more attractive,” he said. “Still, you should have a look at what maintenance you can do to prevent them from becoming a problem during a storm.”

Twitter: @ADNdarrell