Severe weather hitting Alberta harder than the rest of Canada

Alberta taking leadership role in adaptation strategies

Calgary, AB (May 29, 2013) – Don Forgeron, President and CEO of Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), told an audience of Calgary business and government leaders today that increasingly severe weather is jeopardizing lives, property and livelihoods across the country and he said Alberta is getting hit harder than the rest of Canada.

Mr. Forgeron praised the Alberta government for becoming the first province to release a climate change action plan in 2002 and challenged the entire province to continue to carry this banner of leadership.

“Today, Calgary is looking at its adaption response – and insurers are delighted,” said Mr. Forgeron. “Adaptation is realistic, pragmatic, global and forward thinking – and a responsibility that Calgarians and Albertans are ready for,” he added.

In the four years from 2009 to 2012, when insured losses in Canada from natural catastrophes were pegged at, or near, a billion dollars a year, Alberta suffered the most with an average of $673 million a year in insured losses from natural catastrophes.

Some examples include:

  • In 2012, hail storms wreaked havoc across the province causing $530 million dollars in damage.
  • In November 2011, officials had to shut down the downtown core of Calgary during high winds.
  • Also in 2011, fire ravaged the community of Slave Lake with losses pegged at over $700 million.
  • In 2010, a hailstorm pounded Calgary with hailstones almost two inches large. The storm registered damage claims totaling $500 million dollars.

“Insured losses in Alberta have eclipsed those in other provinces – reaching hundreds of millions of dollars each year,” Mr. Forgeron said. “And we can’t forget that behind these statistics, are stories of injured residents, severely damaged and flooded houses, trees uprooted, cars smashed, businesses interrupted, roads washed out and communities reeling.”

Being on the front lines when disaster strikes, the insurance industry is very aware of the costly and devastating impact of severe weather. For years, IBC has played a leadership role in conducting research and developing sound strategies to help Canadians protect themselves.

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 115,000 Canadians, pays more than $7 billion in taxes to the federal, provincial and municipal governments, and has a total premium base of $44 billion.

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SOURCE: Insurance Bureau of Canada