Does My Home Insurance Cover Evacuation Expenses?

Many communities in BC remain on evacuation alerts or orders. For those affected, here is what you need to know about how your home, condo or tenant insurance policy will respond if you are forced to leave your home.
Categories: Personal Insurance
Aug 18th, 2021 | By: CapriCMW

This year's wildfire season has had a devastating impact on a number of communities in BC, and the full extent of the damage is yet to be seen as hundreds of fires remain active throughout the province. For residents of communities on evacuation alerts or orders, sudden expenses arising from being displaced is a huge concern adding to already highly stressful circumstances. Many in this situation have questions about the coverage available through their home, condo and tenant insurance policies. Here is what you need to know:

Additional Living Expenses Coverage

Most home, condo and tenant insurance policies automatically include Additional Living Expenses coverage. If you have been ordered to evacuate, ALE will cover costs for temporary accommodations, meals, gas and other essential items you were unable to bring with you. The full policy deductible will apply and depending on the terms of your specific policy, there may be a sub-limit and/or a time limit (i.e. up to 30 days) on ALE claims due to evacuation orders. For all expenses you plan to include in your claim, be sure to keep all receipts and record on each one the reason for the purchase and how you will use said item or service. Keep photos on your phone of all the receipts. 

BC Emergency Support Services

It is highly recommended that all evacuees register with BC’s Emergency Support Services (ESS). This provincial program helps local and Indigenous governments provide support to those affected by emergencies and natural disasters. If you have been forced to evacuate, ESS will cover costs for accommodation, food and other basic necessities (typically up to 72 hours). Use the ESS program before making a claim under your home, condo or tenant insurance policy to avoid paying a deductible unless it is necessary.

Aside from accessing support, registering with ESS helps first responders in evacuation efforts and reuniting families, enabling ongoing communication between emergency services and evacuated individuals. 

We're here to help.

Alert your CapriCMW Insurance Advisor if you have been evacuated, even if you are not making a claim. In the event of a loss thereafter, we can help you start the claim process faster. Even if a home isn’t a total loss, property damage may have occurred (i.e. smoke damage, lost power to fridges/freezers, water damage, etc.)

If you have any questions about your insurance policy, contact your CapriCMW Insurance Advisor directly or call us at 1 800 670 1877.

Visit the EmergencyInfoBC website for updates on current wildfire activity and evacuation alerts/orders, as well as resources for recovery and support.


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