Wawanesa Thinks (potential) Asbestos and Families is a Great Mix! (Twice!!!)

Is your insurance company putting your health at risk?

Is your insurance company putting you, the insured, in harm’s way due to their policies?

These are questions you never thought you would ponder when dealing with house insurance, but this is exactly what we are dealing with now.

Remember all the problems we have had with Wawanesa and their HANDLING of our insurance claim? You can view the posts here and here . This led to Wawanesa forcing us to do THIS if we had any hope of a claim. The “THIS” was us, the amateurs, completely opening up the cabin to look for a cause for the water damage as the professionals that looked at the cabin in October 2014 refused to look. At that time we thought having the insured strip back a building full of water, and opening up walls potentially full of electrical and water, was both insane and lacked ethics and business common sense. I remember saying to our broker, while sitting in our broker’s office “Do they want to kill us?”. He said no, yet was puzzled by the handling of our claim by Wawanesa.

Luckily the mix of electrical and water didn’t electrocute us and our five children on the spot. Perhaps this was a great disappointment to Wawanesa, perhaps not. Yet now we realize we aren’t “out of the woods”. Now we are dealing with the potential of EXPOSURE TO ASBESTOS due to Wawanesa’s handling of our claim.

wawanesa insurance makes homeowner do own exploration 2Remember this picture? This picture was in the blog post discussing our visit to the cabin on November 23, 2014. This picture was also sent in a set of four DVD’s sent to Wawanesa offices in both Edmonton, Alberta and Winnipeg, Manitoba (head office). This picture shows where my husband has fallen through old tiles that were hidden under the laminate when we were forced by Wawanesa to do our own exploration on our cabin if we wanted any hope of making a claim. We had to try, you need to protect your investment.

Last Saturday, February 21st 2015, we went back to the cabin with a new adjuster, restoration crew, and engineer to take another look at our cabin. They started to look for access points to look at the foundation to see just what was happening under floor level (makes sense)………. and then we hit a snag. They noticed the tiles. Tiles of a certain age, an age when some tiles contained asbestos. The engineer has a mask on. The adjuster has a mask on. My husband, myself and the restoration crew DID NOT HAVE MASKS ON. Exploring through the floor stops; they can’t cut until they know “if” there is asbestos in the tile.

They bag a sample of the tile. They tell us we will know in two days if there was asbestos in the tile.

The sample was bagged on February 21st, 2015. It was a weekend so realistically I thought we would hear by end of the day on Tuesday (February 24th). We received no phone call or email.

On Wednesday….no call or email.

On Thursday….no call or email.

On Friday….no call or email.

On Saturday, a week later, not two days as initially mentioned….no call or email.

The silence is deafening. Why aren’t we hearing the result?

I admit I am quite anxious to know if we are dealing with asbestos. We picked these tiles up with our hands, I fell through them (thus laid down on all these crumbling broken tiles), our children shuffled over them. If there is asbestos this is very, very bad.

Here is the Government of Canada’s information sheet on asbestos.

Here is what the Government of Canada indicates the health risks are:

When inhaled in significant quantities, asbestos fibres can cause asbestosis (a scarring of the lungs which makes breathing difficult), mesothelioma (a rare cancer of the lining of the chest or abdominal cavity) and lung cancer.

It doesn’t sound good does it?

Imagine “if” it is asbestos our whole family, including five children aged 4,7,10,12 and 16 , have been exposed.

blog cabin family

The potential to be placed in a position of exposure once is bad enough.

An insurance company should NEVER place their insured in a situation where their health and well being are compromised. That is unethical and morally irresponsible no matter what the fine print in a policy states. (By the way, as of today we still have no proof as to where the water came from that damaged the cabin, but the rusted screw directly in front of the drain pipe where the worst damage occurred is awfully suspicious.)

blog drainpipe_9360 detail 1blog drainpipe_9360

Putting the insured in harm’s way for a SECOND time is inexcusable. But that is exactly what Wawanesa did.

Wawanesa could argue “we didn’t know there was tile” with regards to our visit on November 23rd, 2014. Yes they knew we were dealing with a dangerous mix of electrical and water, but their justification was probably “At least it will kill them quick!”. Not a problem in the eyes of insurance. They were probably hoping a good electrocution would kill us and our kids so no survivors could come after them in a lawsuit. My guess is the goal was extermination.

However Wawanesa sent us into the cabin for a SECOND time KNOWING there was a potential risk that we would be exposed to ASBESTOS.

On February 21st, 2015 we attended the cabin with the adjuster and his crew, while Wawanesa KNEW the property contained old tile with the potential risk of containing asbestos. How did they know? Well first there was the picture in the blog post. Hundreds upon hundreds of you have seen it. Secondly I sent a set of four DVD’s sent to Wawanesa offices in both Edmonton, Alberta and Winnipeg, Manitoba  that contained video and stills of the area, video that actually included me falling through these tiles that have a potential to contain asbestos. The tiles are clearly visible, the tiles are clearly the vintage of potentially containing asbestos, yet Wawanesa ignores the fact that this building product has the potential to be incredibly harmful and sends us to the property for a second exposure to a potentially hazardous material. Wawanesa are in the business of assessing risk, risk involved with properties, plus risk involved with health and well being with regards to Wawanesa Life, yet they CHOSE to put the INSURED AT RISK.

Wawanesa must hate their customers so much that if electrocution doesn’t work, that they they consciously choose to put their clients in contact with substances known to cause cancer. Are Wawanesa hoping for a slow, painful agonizing death?

So Wawanesa hates their insured, the people that allow them to makes millions or billions in profits, I get that . It is blatantly obvious. I’m still paying my monthly premiums on three residences, a business and a vehicle just so that I can have the pleasure of having the option of either being electrocuted or die of cancer at the hands of the handling of our insurance claim by Wawanesa. I know sadomasochism is “in”, it’s “50 Shades of Wawanesa”…….now we know where a former CBC radio host could be working. But not only did they put us in a potentially hazardous situation for a second time, they also put the workers with the restoration crew. They also were in the property, with broken crumbling ancient tiles, breathing in air with the potential to contain asbestos. This is how Wawanesa treats their trades. Are the tradespeople  also disposable to Wawanesa?

Wawanesa had the video and the pictures of the tile (at the Edmonton AND Head Office in Winnipeg) and they CHOSE to send the insured and the trades into a potentially hazardous situation.

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One last little tidbit. When we had our case assigned to a new adjuster my husband asked if he had all the information as to what had happened with this property. He replied that he had a file two inches thick. On Saturday February 21st, 2015 we discovered he had NEVER BEEN GIVEN THE VIDEO. Wawanesa is back to their old tricks of manipulating a situation. They WITHHELD  the video which showed all the exploration including the POTENTIALLY HAZARDOUS TILE. If Wawanesa had been honest and transparent and had given the new adjuster all the information the new adjuster could have prevented both my husband and myself, and the restoration crew from entering a potentially toxic zone. But Wawanesa chose to continue to play their games.

Wawanesa can’t be trusted.

Wawanesa chooses to put their insured in harm’s way.

Wawanesa values profits over people.

“If property insurance doesn’t protect your property or investment why have it? Then it is just a scam.”

Food for thought.

I encourage others to learn from our experience and evaluate the company you are insured with. No one should have to go through what we have.

I wonder “if” and “when” we will find out if the tiles contain asbestos.

 

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13 thoughts on “Wawanesa Thinks (potential) Asbestos and Families is a Great Mix! (Twice!!!)

      • Let’s just say I am a “fighter”. I have actually put together a website for the very public voicing of insurance issues, it is completely ready to launch. If we don’t resolve this quickly up it goes. The beauty of the insurance site is it will form mass public input on the BAD FAITH rampant in the insurance industry. Then, as patterns form, the goal will be to hook up lawyers with clients for a class action suit or two. It is time for insurance companies to start acting honorably and honestly. I may be “just one client”, but if I can bring the stories of hundreds forth and then send it to the media (I might be “known” for doing that), hundreds shouting BAD FAITH can and will change the industry.

      • Yes I will. If you have any place you want to put my blog post in your neck of the woods, feel free. Spread the word. It will help to keep these companies in check.

        By the way I also have video of what Wawanesa Insurance put us through including our 5 kids freezing in a torn apart building…….that should make for great viewing when it hits Youtube. Truly a popcorn event.

      • Done! Looking forward to reading it!

        Social media is interesting isn’t it? With one little click you have the potential of tens or hundreds of thousands of views of an issue.

  1. My partner is a property developer, ( and retired scientist)he says not to panic too much. Not that your insureres aren’t idiots, but that the main danger from asbestos comes from dust being inhaled, if the asbestos is damp there’s no dust and the risk is minimal

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