Severe Weather Caused $1.3 Billion in Insured Damage in Canada in 2019

The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) has reported that severe weather across Canada continues to highlight the financial costs of climate change to insurers and taxpayers. In 2019, floods, rain, snow and windstorms damaged homes, vehicles and commercial properties. Insured damage for these severe weather events reached $1.3 billion last year, according to Catastrophe Indices and Quantification Inc.

According to IBC, notably, 2019 ranked the seventh highest in insured losses on record. Like 2018, no single event in 2019 caused the high amount paid out for losses. Instead, Canadians and their insurers experienced significant losses from a host of smaller severe weather events from coast to coast.

Top Insured Damage Severe Weather Events in 2019

Source: IBC

Top-10 Highest Loss Years on Record  

Source: IBC

“The cost of climate change to Canadians, their businesses and governments continues to rise,” said Craig Stewart, Vice-President, Federal Affairs, IBC. IBC encourages all orders of government to work together to reduce our collective climate risk, beginning with a national action plan to address flooding,” said Stewart.

As the financial cost of severe weather rises, IBC is advocating for all orders of government to increase their investments in mitigating the impact of extreme weather and in building resilience against the damaging effects of extreme weather events. IBC promotes investing in upgraded infrastructure to protect communities from floods and fires, improving building codes and land-use planning, and offering incentives to shift the development of homes and businesses away from areas at highest risk of flooding.

According to IBC, it is not only insurers who foot the bill for severe weather damage, it’s also taxpayers. Consequently, IBC is advocating for all stakeholders to work together to reduce the financial strain that flood events cause. For every dollar paid out in insurance claims for damaged homes and businesses, Canadian governments and taxpayers pay out much more to repair public infrastructure that the severe weather has damaged.

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