Insurance Bureau of Canada to help Canadian homeowners better understand the risk of flooding

‘Flood Factor’ consumer education campaign

Toronto, ON (Apr. 30, 2018) – Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) has kicked-off a new consumer flood education campaign that will take place this spring and summer in communities in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario. IBC “Flood Factor” interactive booths aim to raise awareness of flood risks and educate homeowners on how they can protect their property from flood damage and prepare themselves for emergencies.

A recent public opinion poll conducted by IBC found that almost 45% of Canadian homeowners with a ground-level home think they have flood insurance as part of their regular home insurance policy, and 26% don’t know if they have it or not. At the same time, only 37% admit feeling confident in their level of knowledge about what is covered and what is not in their home insurance policies.

“The fact is that most Canadians are not financially protected against flooding, and they may not realize it,” says Craig Stewart, Vice-President, Federal Affairs, IBC. “Climate change is not a future threat – it’s happening now. Over the past three decades we have seen an increase in insured damages, and it is up to all of us – the insurance industry, governments and citizens – to do our part in responding to the effects of climate change.”

The insurance industry and governments have a role to play in educating citizens about the risks associated with floods, and the industry will continue to invest in consumer education such as the Flood Factor interactive displays to show Canadians the steps they can take to protect themselves. At the booths, consumers will see interactive maps that provide a view of residential flood risk, as well as learn how to mitigate that risk. People can also visit http://www.floodfactor.ca/ to test out their knowledge of floods for a chance to win instant prizes.

“Adapting to the impacts of climate change takes a whole-of-society approach,” says Stewart. “It is imperative that we raise Canadians’ awareness of the escalating climate-change risks that we all face. Floods in Canada will continue to happen, and only together can we build a resilient country.”

Key findings of IBC’s public opinion research include:

  • Canadian homeowners think they have flood coverage but are not confident in their policy knowledge.
    • Almost 45% believe they have flood insurance coverage
    • 29% say they do not have coverage and 26% don’t know if they have coverage.
  • Canadian homeowners have taken some action to protect their homes from flooding.
    • 56% have cleared leaves from eavestroughs and other areas around the house
    • 44% have ensured proper lot grading so that water drains away from the home
    • 40% have ensured downspouts extend at least 6 feet from the basement wall
    • 35% have checked sidewalks, patios and driveways to ensure they have not settled and caused water to drain toward the house
    • 27% have checked window water wells to ensure there is no accumulated water
    • 23% have created an inventory of the home’s contents, including all valuables
    • 22% have installed backflow valves for drains, toilets and basement sewer connections
    • 22% have informed themselves and household members on how to shut off electricity to areas that might be affected by flooding.
  • Canadian homeowners don’t feel the threat of flooding.
    • 53% say they are not planning to take any action to protect their homes from flooding in the next several months
    • Only 11% have a disaster safety kit in their homes, and 42% of those who do not already have one say they are not willing to assemble one in the near future.
  • Insurers have a role to play in education.
    • The most trusted source for information on how to reduce the risk of flood in the home is a science or flood expert (61% trust this source)
    • Insurance companies are the second-most-trusted source of information (54%).

About the Research

IBC commissioned Navigator Ltd. to conduct a nationwide online study of 1,200 Canadian residents 18 years of age or older between February 5 and February 23, 2018. The margin of error for a strict probability sample for a sample of this size would be ±2.83%, 19 times out of 20. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to multiple sources of error, including, but not limited to, sampling error, coverage error and measurement error.

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.

SOURCE: Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC)

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