April storm caused more than $85 million in insured damage across Ontario, Quebec

Weather-related insured damages in Ontario over half a billion dollars in the past year

Toronto, ON (Apr. 30, 2018) – Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) reports that an early April storm affecting Ontario and Quebec, which brought severe rain, heavy snow, and damaging winds, resulted in more than $85 million in insured damage, according to Catastrophe Indices and Quantification Inc. (CatIQ).  A review of recent severe weather damage shows that insured losses in Ontario alone have now surpassed half a billion dollars over the past twelve months.

Widespread wind damage was reported across several regions of Ontario and resulted in over 145,000 power outages and a destroyed home development in Niagara Region. The storm then tracked to Quebec. Of the damage, the majority was in Ontario, and largely resulted in home insurance claims. The snow led to poor driving conditions that resulted in car collisions in Quebec and Ontario, including a 50-car pile-up on Highway 400 in Barrie, Ontario.

“Insured losses from storms such as these are increasing rapidly. However this is only part of the picture. Taxpayers are also bearing the brunt of these costs since many losses are uninsured. We are witnessing more frequent, intense storms which we now know are attributable to climate change.” said Craig Stewart, Vice-President, Federal Affairs, IBC. “The present costs of climate change are real which is why urgent action is needed on adaptation as well as mitigation.”

While the insured damage from the early April storm is significant, this spring season in eastern Canada has been particularly harsh, and IBC expects that this event was only a prelude to other events to affect the region this spring. IBC will report on further damage from the Ontario ice storm in the coming weeks.

Over the past twelve months, a series of severe weather events have hit the province of Ontario resulting in more than $500 million in damage.  These events included:

  • March 2017 windstorm in Hamilton and Niagara region with damage over $100 million
  • April 2017 wind and water damage in Ottawa and Burlington of over $25 million
  • May 2017 flooding damage in Peterborough and Minden over $50 million
  • August 2017 flooding in the Windsor area topping $160 million in damage
  • October 2017 wind and flood damage in Kingston and Ottawa of almost $50 million
  • January 2018 winter storm damage in Toronto, London and south western Ontario of nearly $10 million
  • February 2018 water and winter storm damage in southern Ontario of over $40 million

IBC reminds consumers that, especially because of changing spring weather conditions, it is vital to know what your policies cover and whether your home insurance policy includes overland flood protection. Check with your insurance representative to see what options are available. For more information on how to protect property against floods and other disasters, please visit IBC’s website.

About Insurance Bureau of Canada

Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is the national industry association representing Canada’s private home, auto and business insurers. Its member companies make up 90% of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance market in Canada. For more than 50 years, IBC has worked with governments across the country to help make affordable home, auto and business insurance available for all Canadians. IBC supports the vision of consumers and governments trusting, valuing and supporting the private P&C insurance industry. It champions key issues and helps educate consumers on how best to protect their homes, cars, businesses and properties.

P&C insurance touches the lives of nearly every Canadian and plays a critical role in keeping businesses safe and the Canadian economy strong. It employs more than 120,000 Canadians, pays $9 billion in taxes and has a total premium base of $52 billion.

For more information, visit IBC at www.ibc.ca. If you have a question about home, auto or business insurance, contact IBC’s Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2ask-IBC.

About CatIQ

Catastrophe Indices and Quantification Inc. (CatIQ) delivers detailed analytical and meteorological information on Canadian natural and man-made catastrophes. Through its online subscription-based platform, CatIQ combines comprehensive insured loss indices and other related information to better serve the needs of the insurance and reinsurance industries, the public sector and other stakeholders. To learn more, visit https://www.catiq.com/.

SOURCE: Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC)


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