March Storm in Eastern Canada Caused $50 Million in Insured Damage

Toronto, ON (May 25, 2021) – Severe weather across Canada continues to highlight the financial costs of a changing climate paid by insurers and taxpayers. A storm that moved across eastern Canada from March 26 to 29 brought heavy rain and strong winds, causing $50 million in insured damage, according to initial estimates from Catastrophe Indices and Quantification Inc. (CatIQ). Damage reports associated with the storm spanned the region, from basements being flooded in southern Ontario to roofs being torn off homes in western Newfoundland and Labrador.

Insured damage caused by March 26–29 storm, by province:

  • Ontario: $19 million
  • Quebec: $21 million
  • New Brunswick: $1 million
  • Nova Scotia: $7 million
  • Newfoundland and Labrador: $2 million
  • TOTAL: $50 million insured loss

“Insured losses related to natural catastrophic events averaged $2 billion per year between 2009 and 2020, compared with an average of $422 million per year in the 1983 to 2008 period. Last year alone, these losses were $2.4 billion. That’s more than a four-fold increase in such losses caused by severe weather events, which are increasingly attributed to climate change,” said Craig Stewart, Vice-President, Federal Affairs, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC).

Taxpayers and insurers share the cost for severe weather damage. For every dollar paid in insurance claims for  homes and businesses damaged by severe weather, all levels of government and taxpayers pay much more to repair public infrastructure. Yet Canada still lacks a national climate adaptation strategy with measurable targets and the accompanying investments needed to protect Canadian homes and businesses from natural disasters.

Canadians continue to experience accelerating financial losses from the changing climate. In 2020, the federal government created the Task Force on High-Risk Residential Flood Insurance and Strategic Relocation. Through this task force, insurers will work with governments across the country to better protect properties from flooding and to ensure that every Canadian is able to access affordable flood insurance. Currently, this is a standalone effort. IBC believes it should be part of a larger climate adaptation plan that coordinates action by governments and the private sector to address the growing physical risks of climate change.

Visit IBC’s website for information on how to prepare for a disaster and home flooding mitigation techniques.

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.

For more information, visit 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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