Insurers estimate August 19 Ontario storm claims will exceed $400 million: IBC

Most expensive natural disaster in Ontario history

TORONTO, Sept. 6, 2005 – Canada’s car, home and business insurers announced today that they expect to pay out more than $400 million to help Southern Ontario recover from the August 19 storm. That will make it the highest insured loss in Ontario history. More recent disasters include the 2004 Peterborough flood which cost $95 million.

“It can take months to determine the full impact of a once-in-a-hundred-year storm like this, but the latest insurance industry information suggests that claims are likely to exceed $400 million,” said Mark Yakabuski, Vice-President, Federal Affairs and Ontario, IBC.

“To date, insurance companies have reported a huge volume of claims – more than 15,000 and growing,” said Mr. Yakabuski. “Some companies received as many claims in three days as they would normally receive in two months.”

Another challenge faced by insurers is that the storm damage was not limited to a small geographic area. “This storm pummelled communities from Kitchener-Waterloo, to Toronto, to Durham region and beyond,” Yakabuski added. “Adjusters have been doing a tremendous job responding to their policyholders and helping them in the claims process.”

“While there’s no replacing items like the family photo album, the industry is doing what it can to return people to their normal lives as soon as possible,” he added.

The vast majority of claims are for sewer back-up. Sewer back-up is typically purchased as an addition to a homeowner’s policy. There have also been a number of auto claims and many businesses were damaged. In the Fergus area, where two tornadoes touched down, there have been property claims for wind damage.

“The impact was nowhere near the devastation suffered by the victims of
Hurricane Katrina, of course, but there are a lot of residents and business owners out there still trying to cope with substantial losses,” said Yakabuski.

Insurance Bureau of Canada is the national trade association of the private property and casualty insurance industry. It represents more than 90% of the non-government home, car and business insurance in Canada. To view news releases and information, visit the media section of IBC’s website at

Click here to view a chart of insurance payouts for recent Canadian natural disasters