Pictured above L-R: John, Don, Danielle, Scott, Simon, Carole, Robin, Suzanne, Paul 

Minutes for the Meeting of July 18th, 2013

Present:  Suzanne Manvell, Scott Bartle, Hugh Dimock, Danielle Gilas, John Humphreys, Paul Pereira, Carole Rowsell, Don Sirko, Robin Sorys.

Guests:  Simon Da Rosa of  Brokerforce Insurance Inc. 1501 Dundas St. West., Toronto  (near Dufferin)  416-533-3565 (office) 416-627-3565 (cell).

Call to order: 7:45am.


Golf.  We are aiming for 30 golfers from our club and looking for 30 prizes.

Garage sale. The Toronto Sunrise Rotary Club will be having a garage sale Saturday at 8am at 18 Norma Crescent near Bloor & Glendonwynne. Volunteers wanted.

Guest Speaker:

Insurance. Simon spoke about basement flooding. The last Toronto rain storm caught insurance companies by surprise. They have been slow to respond to their clients. Simon's office had 22 claims and his head office had 200 claims.

Survey: What should affected households do? Immediately make a list of all damage to your home's structure and personal property. You should hire a contractor to do the initial clean-up if it is too big for you to handle, but keep receipts. Then you should take your appliances and store them in a safe place. In some cases, people have stored their appliances outside and they have disappeared.

Carpet: If you have to replace carpet, keep a piece so that you have evidence for the insurance adjuster. Many people try to use floods as an excuse to upgrade carpets. If there are health hazards, you can often seek temporary accommodation for a reasonable cost.

Hugh asked if there is possible damage behind the wall, whether the insurance company pay for inspection (which may cause damage). Most policies will not cover a destructive inspection.

Scott asked if it is necessary to contact an adjuster before hiring a contractor. Many insurance companies will allow you to hire before the adjuster in circumstances like this flood. Don mentioned the possibility of hiring an outside adjuster. This usually is not an advantage unless the claim is very large.

Infiltration damage: water penetrates through cracks. Water damage to the structure is not covered, but damage to personal property is. Area rugs are part of the contents, wall-to-wall rugs are part of the structure.

Water escape: covered. This water may come from a pipe that leaks, the bathtub, etc. This is often due to human error.

Sewer backup: sometimes covered. It is difficult for adjusters to differentiate between infiltration and sewer backup. This is particularly true when the adjuster arrives late, after you have cleaned up. This is an addition to the standard home-owner's package. Most companies now offer limits for this coverage. The deductible is often $2500 to $10,000. Limits are often $20,000 to $30,000.

The insurance companies are getting away with too much, with differing rates by postal code. The area may needs government intervention as there was with automobile insurance.

Preventive measures: proper maintenance of the property. Be familiar with your home owner's policy. Ask questions and negotiate with your broker. Mechanical prevention measures. Sump pumps: are very effective except when the power is out. They are great to avoid humidity and water. Insurance companies are starting to pay attention to sump pumps and back-flow valves (both manual, semi-, and fully-automatic). There are pedestal and submersible sump pumps. They are often electric, but some new ones run by water or have battery back-up. They cost about $2500, and the city will provide about half.

Renters in the basement: You can be responsible for the loss of your tenant's property if there is a problem with your property and it is the reason for your loss. If he moves out for a few days, you are also responsible. You should require them to have tenant's insurance. If they cause a problem to your property, then their insurance policy would cover it.

Costs of insurance: has doubled in the past few years. Labour costs have stayed constant, but material costs have increased. The insurance companies will likely increase rates by 10-15%.

Past President's Dinner.  August 14th, from 5-8pm.

Rotary's Presidential Citation: was awarded to Don for his work last year.

The pot lives, says John after drawing his own ticket for a second time.

Meeting adjourned at 8:30am.


Paul J.S. Pereira