Many Business Owners Near Toronto Propane Blast Lacked Insurance

The process of assessing damages and tallying claims is underway as most residents near the site of Toronto’s recent propane explosion settle back in to their homes and businesses.

Claims are expected to run the gamut from structural damages incurred by individual homes to business interruption for commercial operations. Bombardier, for instance, cancelled a shift at its northwest Toronto production plant following exterior damage to the facility, and numerous local businesses were closed for days and were also damaged. Upwards of 100 buildings were so ravaged and their owners and occupants have still not been able to safely enter.

But Eve Patterson, the Insurance Bureau of Canada’s regional manager for Ontario, who attended the York University campus where evacuees were taken after the explosion, says that many tenants who rented their accommodations, along with small business owners, didn’t have insurance coverage in place.

“It’s too bad but there are a lot of mom-and-pop shop owners who didn’t have any insurance,” she says after speaking with many of the business owners.

James Geuzebroek, IBC’s media spokesperson, also attended the scene and disclosed that while many homeowners were asking questions about their insurance, he fielded few from small business owners in the neighborhood.

The fire marshal is investigating to determine the cause of the blast and if there is any negligence found on behalf of Sunrise Propane Energy Group Inc., Patterson says there may be opportunity for insurers who’ve paid out claims for residents and businesses affected to subrogate against the company’s insurer.

“Insurance companies may have the right of subrogation against the propane company if there is negligence,” Patterson says.

Copyright © 2017 Transcontinental Media G.P.
Transcontinental Media G.P.