Tornado victims furious
Terry Dagenais and his wife were greatly affected by the September 21 tornado. According to them, damages to their home range between $60,000 and $70,000. Since then, objects from inside their home are still missing. Their backyard balcony was destroyed. They are happy to be able to live in the house, since many Mont-Bleu residents don’t even have that.
When the time came to make their insurance claim, says Mr Dagenais, they were told that they would no longer be welcome as clients (if they made a claim). The couple has been insured with Wawanesa Insurance for over 30 years, and, up until now, they had been very satisfied. They had referred the company to several friends.
The problems with the insurer started last year, before the tornado. Their pool had collapsed and they had to have it repaired. Last July, their basement was flooded during torrential rains and required an insurance claim.
In response to this recent claim, Wawanesa told Dagenais that his maximum claim was $20,000. Since the damages far exceeded that, he found ways to repair his basement and replace some articles. “I was astounded -- we never missed a payment in 34 years,” Dagenais told the Bulletin. “An insurance company is supposed to be there for the victims.”
The owner said Wawanesa sent him a letter indicating that since he has made two claims in three years, they are cancelling his insurance on any property he owns. Dagenais says this is disappointing, since they pay $5,000 a year for insurance. For the past problems, the couple found a compromise with the company. In a nutshell, he was happy with the outcome.
Then came the tornado. With his bad luck over the last years, he wanted to know what he could expect. He says Wawanesa told him that if he filed a claim for tornado damage, his insurance policy would not be renewed as of September 28, 2019.
Mr Dagenais is also limited in his ability to work while he is repairing his house by himself. He doesn’t know if any help is coming from the Quebec government. At our deadline, Wawanesa Insurance had not returned any of the Bulletin’s calls. (Transl: CB)