IBC: New ICLR website addresses basement flooding, water damage

Jul 10, 2012 – The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) estimates that water damage costs insurers $1.7 billion each year and claims from basement flooding comprise a significant amount of the damage.

To help provide municipalities, insurers and homeowners information on reducing the chances of basement flooding and other water-related risks, the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction (ICLR) has launched a new website – www.basementfloodreduction.com – which explores topics including sewer backup, water infiltration and overland flooding.

The site points to past examples of how water has caused severe damage in recent years, including the August 19, 2005 extreme rainfall event in southern Ontario, which resulted in over $500 million in total insurance claims, $247 million of which was attributed to claims from sewer backup in homes. Also in 2005, flooding in southern Alberta resulted in approximately $300 million in insurance payouts, $145 million of which was attributed to sewer backup claims, and Edmonton experienced a sever rainfall event that resulted in $143 million in sewer backup claims in July 2004. The weather system that caused flooding in Edmonton in early July 2004 later swung around Canada and combined with another system to cause extreme rainfall in Peterborough, Ontario, resulting in over $87 million in insurance claims.

The website also includes a list of municipalities across Canada that offer financial assistance through subsidies for basement flood reduction measures, including the installation of backwater valves, downspout and foundation drain disconnection and repairing sewer laterals.

The ICLR is a multi-disciplinary disaster prevention research and communications centre. It was established by Canada’s property and casualty insurance industry as an independent, not-for-profit research institute affiliated with Western University.

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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 section of IBC’s website at www.ibc.ca and for IBC on Twitter follow @insurancebureau.