Alberta floods the costliest insured natural disaster in Canadian history

Estimates of insured losses exceed $1.7 billion

Calgary, AB (Sept. 23, 2013) – Insurance Bureau of Canada reports that the latest PCS-Canada estimate of the insured property damage caused by last June’s southern Alberta floods now exceeds $1.7 billion. It is the costliest natural disaster in Canadian history.

“It’s a staggering number that we expect will go even higher,” said Bill Adams, IBC Vice-President, Western and Pacific. “While the monetary cost of the floods is huge, the emotional toll on Albertans is incalculable. Insurers and IBC are committed to helping Albertans through the claims process as they clean up and rebuild their lives and communities.”

Flooding was the result of torrential rainfall between June 20 and 24. Four people died and 100,000 people were forced from their homes. The Alberta government declared a state of emergency for a number of communities in southern Alberta.

Immediately after the flooding, some 5,000 insurance professionals deployed to focus on helping with the claims process. IBC provided residents with information about assessing damage, filing claims and resolving disputes; it also coordinated with governments at the municipal, provincial and federal levels flood response and recovery. IBC and its members continue to advance claim requests as quickly as possible to ensure that policyholders can return to normal life.

The preliminary estimate of insured losses was calculated by Property Claim Services Canada (PCS-Canada), a service that tracks these losses arising from catastrophic events in Canada. PCS-Canada also reports that well in excess of 25,000 claims have been filed in the wake of the floods. PCS-Canada will update both numbers in 60 days.

Adams added, “We know there are still questions and concerns to be answered. If you can’t reach your insurance representative or have general questions about your policy, call IBC’s Consumer Information Centre at 1-800-377-6378.”

Data about insured damage is from PCS-Canada.

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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