Adapting to the effects of climate change: What homeowners can do to protect their homes and communities

TORONTO, June 6, 2008 – Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) wants to help Canadians adapt to the effects of climate change. With severe weather events happening more frequently, homeowners need to take steps now to better protect themselves and their communities.

Research suggests that a majority of Canadian homeowners are interested in learning more about how to protect their homes from severe weather, but only three in 10 are aware of what they can do.

Mark Yakabuski, President & CEO, IBC, says: “IBC is taking the opportunity to remind Canadian homeowners of what they can do to help reduce the risk that their homes and neighbourhoods will be damaged by the increased flooding we can expect to see in the coming years and decades.”

To protect against flood damage in your house, install backflow valves to prevent sewer lines from backing up into your basement.

Yakabuski adds, “IBC also encourages Canadians to take measures on their own property that will reduce the water flow into municipal sewer systems, which are increasingly being overburdened by higher-intensity flooding.

Climate change is everyone’s problem, and we all have a role to play in mitigating its effects.”

Measures can include placing rain collection barrels at the base of downspouts; converting your driveway to a permeable material; and landscaping in ways that maximize moisture retention, such as mounded flower gardens near the road. All these measures will slow down water flow into sewers and aid absorption of water into the ground. Homeowners are also encouraged to avoid landscaping projects that would have the opposite effect, such as replacing your lawn with concrete or interlock brick.

About Insurance Bureau of Canada:

Insurance Bureau of Canada is the national industry association representing Canada’s private home, car and business insurers. Its member companies represent nearly 95% of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance market in Canada. The P&C insurance industry employs over 104,000 Canadians, pays more than $6 billion in taxes to the federal and provincial governments, and has a total premium base of $35 billion. For more information, visit