News Release                                                                            September 5, 2003


BCAA sells record home insurance policies in August

(Burnaby, B.C.): Contrary to reports indicating that home insurance may be difficult to obtain in parts of B.C., the British Columbia Automobile Association (BCAA) is still accepting new insurance policies on a case-by-case basis - just as it has always done. BCAA Insurance, in fact, reports record sales in August.

BCAA Insurance experienced a 43 per cent increase in new home insurance policy sales in August compared to the same month last year. BCAA also saw a combined increase of 57 per cent in new home insurance policy sales in its Kamloops, Kelowna, Penticton and Vernon Sales Centres.

"The message these numbers send is that BCAA home insurance is open for business and we continue to accept new policies even in forest-fire affected areas," says Scott McBride, Vice President of BCAA Insurance Services. "We know that living in a city near a forest fire doesn't necessarily mean that you will be at risk. That's why we're looking at each individual potential policy on a case-by-case basis. And, we're encouraging staff closest to the scene to use their judgement, rather than delay a customer by seeking approval from head office."

BCAA says it wants to dispel any misconceptions homeowners might have about purchasing home insurance in forest-fire affected areas by revealing some of the facts about its insurance:

       BCAA is considering potential home insurance policy sales on a case-by-case basis, regardless of location. Where there is extreme risk, BCAA is not accepting policies until such time as the risk subsides.

       BCAA policyholders whose insurance is up for renewal are being allowed to renew, regardless of their location.  

       Existing BCAA policyholders needing to transfer insurance coverage to a new home can do so even if they are moving into an area that is at risk.

       Fire damage is covered under most home insurance policies, including damage from forest fires.

"You might say the month of August was the best and worst of times for BCAA home insurance," adds McBride. "In addition to our record policy sales, we are also managing more than 160 claims related to the Kelowna forest fire alone, including 21 total losses. On that end of our business, we are intent on providing top quality service to claimants."