Insurance Bureau of Canada issues preliminary report on costs of BC storms

VANCOUVER, Jan. 9 2009 – Insurance Bureau of Canada’s (IBC’s) preliminary assessment of the claims costs of insurable losses related to recent winter storms is an estimated $39 million for the 4,300 claims received so far.

As a result of this series of storms, insurance companies received an unusually high number of claims within a short period of time. Employees areworking diligently to process these claims in order to help British Columbians recover as quickly as possible.

“Insurers continue to swiftly process claims for their customers,” said Lindsay Olson, Vice-President, British Columbia, Saskatchewan & Manitoba, Insurance Bureau of Canada. “However, it could take months to assess the full extent of the damage caused by the storms.”

Most of the claims submitted relate to burst pipes, snow load/roof collapses, sewer back-up problems or wind damage. Coverage for these perils is typically offered on most comprehensive homeowner’s insurance policies or is available as an add-on.

However, IBC reminds consumers once again that any damage caused by overland flooding is not covered by home insurance.

“The purpose of insurance is to spread risk amongst many policyholders,” noted Olson. “Overland flooding is a risk for only a small percentage of the population – that is, those who live on flood plains. Flood insurance for such a small number of consumers would be unaffordable.”

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 110,000 Canadians, pays more than $6 billion in taxes to the federal, provincial and municipal governments, and has a total premium base of $38 billion.

To view news releases and information, visit the media section of IBC’s website at