Goderich tornado costs $75 million in insured damage

TORONTO, Sept. 21, 2011 – Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) reports that the estimated insured damage caused by a tornado that struck Goderich, Ontario in August amounts to at least $75 million.

The $75 million is a preliminary estimate reported by Property Claim Services Canada (PCS-Canada), a service that tracks insured losses arising from catastrophic events in Canada. Data collected by PCS-Canada confirms that thousands of claims have been filed for damage to homes, cars and businesses in the wake of the storm.

Immediately after the storm hit Goderich, IBC deployed its Community Assistance Mobile Pavilion (CAMP) to the community to assist residents and businesses by offering on-site, insurance-related information.

“I was on the ground with IBC’s CAMP, and I can say firsthand that the tornado’s destruction to property in Goderich was awful,” said Ralph Palumbo, Vice-President, Ontario, IBC. “It’s devastating for those who have been affected.”

Palumbo added: “Insurance companies were on the ground after the disaster to help affected residents and businesses. Many insurance companies brought in extra staff to start issuing cheques to residents to cover their daily needs and to begin processing claims immediately. And the industry continues to help the community to recover.”

The entire recovery process may still take time because of the extent of the claims and the availability of skilled trades and labour for demolition and rebuilding in the small community. Insurers are also working to fulfill rebuilding requirements for damaged homes and buildings with heritage designations, to ensure the rich history of the community is preserved.

Ontario has seen a handful of damaging tornados in the past few years. A tornado that hit the Leamington area in June 2010 cost $120 million in insured damage, while another that hit the Vaughan area in August 2009 cost $88 million.

If consumers have questions, they are urged to contact their brokers, agents or insurance company representatives, or IBC’s Consumer Information Centre in Ontario at 1-800-387-2880 (Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.).

Data about Goderich is from PCS Canada. Subscribers to the PCS Canada service can access detailed reports of this event by logging in to www.pcs-canada.com.

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 90% of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance market in Canada. The P&C insurance industry employs over 114,000 Canadians, pays more than $7 billion in taxes to the federal, provincial and municipal governments, and has a total premium base of $40 billion.

To view media releases and information, visit the Media Centre of IBC’s website at www.ibc.ca.