July Prairie Storms Caused More Than $130 Million In Insured Damage

Edmonton, AB (Sept. 12, 2019) – The severe storms that hit Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba from July 13 to 15, and southern Alberta and Saskatchewan on July 30, caused more than $130 million in insured damage, according to Catastrophe Indices and Quantification Inc. (CatIQ). Across both storms and all provinces, nearly two-thirds of the damage was to personal property, with the remaining losses impacting commercial property and auto.

Initial estimates for July 13–15 Storm in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba

  • Alberta: ​ $11 million​ in insured damage
  • Saskatchewan: ​ $29 million​
  • Manitoba​:  $2 million​
  • Total:​  $41 million​

Initial estimates for July 30 Storm in Southern Alberta and Saskatchewan

  • Alberta​:  $90 million​
  • Saskatchewan​:  $1 million​
  • Total: ​ ​$91 million

Severe weather in the Prairies from July 13-15 caused significant hail, wind and water damage, with 102 km/h wind gusts and 68 mm of rain. Damage to homes and vehicles included siding torn off of homes and shingles torn off of roofs, and shattered windows and windshields.

On the afternoon of July 30, severe storms developed in southern Alberta and southern Saskatchewan. Hail smashed windshields, dented hoods and cracked windows in vehicles. The storms also caused significant damage to homes.

“Western Canada was impacted by several storms this past summer, but these two stand out in terms of the catastrophic losses suffered,” said Celyeste Power, Vice-President, Western, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC). “Severe, unpredictable weather like this is becoming more frequent, resulting in higher costs to homeowners, insurers and governments. Last year, insured damage from severe weather across Canada exceeded $2 billion, the fourth-highest amount of annual losses on record. That alarming trend has continued in 2019, with close to $900 million in insured losses recorded already this year.”

The highest cost of insured catastrophic loss on record occurred in 2016, which exceeded $5 billion and includes the Fort McMurray wildfire and several storms across Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. As the financial cost of the changing climate has been increasing, IBC is working closely with all levels of government to increase investments to mitigate the future impacts of extreme weather and build resilience to its damaging effects. IBC is advocating for improved building codes, better land-use planning, incentives to shift the development of homes and businesses away from areas at highest risk of flooding, and investment in new infrastructure to protect communities from floods and fires.

It is not only insurers who foot the bill for severe weather damage, it’s also taxpayers. This is why all stakeholders need to come together to reduce the financial strain caused by floods and other severe weather events. For every dollar paid out in insurance claims for damaged homes, vehicles and businesses, Canadian governments and their taxpayers pay much more to recover the public infrastructure damaged by severe weather.

The amount of insured damage is an estimate provided by CatIQ (www.catiq.com) under licence to IBC.

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 128,000 Canadians, pays $9.4 billion in taxes and has a total premium base of $59.6 billion.

For more information, visit www.ibc.ca.

Source: Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC)

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