IBC: Southern Alberta windstorms cost $200 million in insured damage

EDMONTON, Dec. 22, 2011 – Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) reports that the estimated insured damage caused by windstorms that hit southern Alberta in November amounts to at least $200 million.

This 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.

“Thankfully, there were no serious injuries, and insurance should cover most of the damage,” said Doug Noble, IBC’s Alberta Vice-President. “Following the storm, IBC told affected consumers to contact their insurance representatives as soon as possible to start the claims process.”

He added, “There is no doubt that we are seeing more and more the impact of severe weather in Alberta.”

In summer 2011, a storm that pummelled Calgary and parts of southern Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba with golf-ball-sized hail resulted in $185 million of insured damage. In summer 2010, another storm in Alberta resulted in $500 million in insured damage while deadly windstorms that rolled across the province in summer 2009 resulted in $360 million of insured damage.

Fires that destroyed much of Slave Lake in May of this year amounted to more than $700 million in insured damage, making it the second costliest insured disaster in Canadian history (after the ice storm that hit Quebec and Ontario in 1998, which cost over $1.8 billion).

“Following each of these disasters, insurers were there to help Albertans repair and recover,” remarked Noble.

Over the past three years, Alberta insurers have paid out approximately $2 billion in damages resulting from 5 disasters.

If consumers have questions, they are urged to contact their brokers, agents or insurance company representatives, or IBC’s Consumer Information Centre in Alberta at 1-800-377-6378 (Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.).

Data about insured damage is from PCS-Canada. Subscribers to the PCS-Canada service can access detailed reports by logging on to www.pcs-canada.com.

About Insurance Bureau of Canada

Insurance Bureau of Canada is the national industry association representing Canada’s home, car and business insurers. Its member companies represent 90% of the private 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 $42 billion.

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