IBC mobile pavilion on site in Lac-Megantic

Mobile pavilion will assist victims and provide them with insurance information

More than 1,000 Lac-Megantic residents are being allowed home after last weekend’s devastating tanker-train derailment.

Officials told a news conference Tuesday that 1,200 out of about 2,000 evacuees are being given the green light to head home.

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Shortly after 1 a.m. on Saturday, part of a train careened down a hill into Lac-Megantic and derailed, exploding into a wall of flame and fireballs which sent residents running for their lives and levelling a number of residential and commercial buildings.

Police say they are treating the disaster area as a “crime scene.”

The national Transportation Safety Board is also investigating.

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The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) deployed its Community Assistance Mobile Pavilion (CAMP) on July 8 to assist victims of the disaster and to inform them that most home and auto insurance policies cover material damage caused by this disaster.

A number of residents have lost their homes or have had to evacuate their houses, and cannot access their insurance policies. “Our thoughts go out to the families and all who have been affected by this tragedy. The explosions and fires caused major damage to homes and businesses in the community. Insurers will do everything they can to enable those affected to resume their normal activities,” explained Pierre Babinsky, manager, communications and public affairs, at IBC, in a press release.

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Under these circumstances, residents who are unable to return to their homes because of insurable damages may be entitled to compensation for additional living expenses. IBC recommends that those affected quickly contact their insurer or broker to validate their policy coverage. “If they have questions about their policy, IBC agents will be on site to assist them,” noted Babinsky.

Personal safety has to be of uppermost concern. Those affected are asked to take every precaution to protect their property and, where possible, avoid aggravating the loss. IBC is also advising victims to keep all invoices and vouchers for expenses incurred as a result of the disaster.

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As for damaged vehicles, IBC reminds policyholders that their cars are covered under their auto insurance policy depending on whether they purchased “All Perils”, “Accident Excluding Collision or Upset”, or “Specified Perils” coverage.

With files from The Canadian Press

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