Severe Weather in 2021 Caused $2.1 Billion in Insured Damage

Toronto, ON (Jan. 18, 2022) – Severe weather across Canada continues to highlight the financial costs of a changing climate to both insurers and taxpayers. Insured damage for severe weather events across Canada reached $2.1 billion last year, according to Catastrophe Indices and Quantification Inc. (CatIQ). Noteworthy severe weather events last year included the November flooding in British Columbia and summer hailstorms in Calgary, and 2021 now ranks as the sixth highest in insured losses since 1983. According to Munich Reinsurance Company, 2021’s global losses from natural disasters hit $355 billion.

Insured Catastrophic Losses in Canada 2021 (CNW Group/Insurance Bureau of Canada)

Insured Damage for Severe Weather Events in 2021

  • Jan. 12 — Western Canada storms — $134 million
  • Mar. 26 — Eastern Canada storm — $50 million
  • Jun. 30 — Lytton, BC wildfire — $102 million
  • Jul. 2 — Calgary, AB hailstorm — $500 million
  • Jul. 15 — Barrie, Ontario-and-area tornadoes — $100 million
  • Jul. 22 — Prairie storms — $120 million
  • Aug. 2 — White Rock Lake, BC wildfire — $77 million
  • Sept. 7 & 22 — Southern Ontario storms — $105 million
  • Sep. 11 — Hurricane Larry in Atlantic Canada — $25 million
  • Nov. 13 — British Columbia floods — $515 million
  • Dec. 11 — Eastern Canada windstorm — $152 million

Canada’s Top 10 Highest Loss Years on Record (loss and adjusted expenses in 2020 dollars)

  1. $5.403 billion loss — 2016 Fort McMurray fire
  2. $3.511 billion loss — 2013 Alberta floods & Greater Toronto Area floods
  3. $2.562 billion loss — 1998 Quebec ice storm
  4. $2.297 billion loss — 2020 Fort McMurray flood & Calgary hailstorm
  5. $2.176 billion loss — 2018 Ontario and Quebec rainstorms and windstorms
  6. $2.011 billion loss — 2021 Calgary hailstorm & British Columbia floods
  7. $1.787 billion loss — 2011 Slave Lake fire and windstorm
  8. $1.495 billion loss — 2012 Calgary rainstorm
  9. $1.416 billion loss — 2019 Multiple events
  10. $1.335 billion loss — 2005 Ontario rainstorm

Sources 1983–2007: IBC, PCS Canada, Swiss Re, Deloitte. Source 2008–2021: CatIQ.

“Canada must now prioritize climate defence. A National Adaptation Strategy, currently under development, must propose measurable and concrete actions to protect Canadians by 2030. The 2022 Federal Budget should allocate robust funding to implement this Strategy if we are to protect Canadians from the flood, wildfire, heat, wind, and hail events already growing in frequency and severity,” said Craig Stewart, Vice-President, Federal Affairs, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC).

“Climate change is real, and the fatalities, emotional turmoil, and financial consequences we’ve recently witnessed must be a call to action – we must adapt now. Achieving net zero emissions by 2050 is a foundational step to limit our future risks from climate change, but we need funded measures implemented immediately to protect us from the worsening severe weather that is already happening. Canada’s national climate plan will remain incomplete until such measures are identified and implemented.

“In today’s world of extreme weather events, the new normal for yearly insured catastrophic losses in Canada has become $2 billion, most of it due to water-related damage. Compare this to the period between 1983 and 2008, when Canadian insurers averaged only $422 million a year in severe weather-related losses.”

Insured Catastrophic Losses in Canada (CNW Group/Insurance Bureau of Canada)

The insurance industry has been advocating for action on flooding for years. IBC’s advocacy on its National Action Plan on Flooding resulted in the federal government establishing the Task Force on Flood Insurance and Relocation in late 2020. The Task Force commenced its work in January 2021 and is scheduled to submit its final report by spring 2022.

IBC is also a member of the national coalition Climate Proof Canada, which is advocating for adaptation as part of the national climate plan. The insurance industry has dedicated funding for, and supported the development of, the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction and the Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation. In the absence of reliable flood maps, the industry also funded Canada’s first national flood model. In addition, IBC is engaging with senior Government of Canada officials about rebalancing disaster assistance and insurance to improve consumer outcomes.

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.

About CatIQ

Toronto-based Catastrophe Indices and Quantification Inc. (CatIQ) is a subsidiary of Zurich-based PERILS A.G. and delivers detailed analytical and meteorological information on Canadian natural and man-made catastrophes. Through its online subscription-based platform, CatIQ combines comprehensive insured loss and exposure indices and other related information to better serve the needs of the insurance / reinsurance / ILS industries, public sector and other stakeholders. To learn more, visit

CatIQ was established in 2014 with the support of the overwhelming majority of the Canadian insurance and reinsurance industry and is widely recognized as the most reliable source of catastrophe loss information in Canada. CatIQ also partners with MSA Research to host the Canadian catastrophe conference, CatIQ Connect, which will run quarterly online until Feb 2022 when it will return in-person on an annual basis.

About Munich Re

Munich Re is one of the world’s leading providers of reinsurance, primary insurance and insurance-related risk solutions. The group consists of the reinsurance and ERGO business segments, as well as the asset management company MEAG. Munich Re is globally active and operates in all lines of the insurance business. Since it was founded in 1880, Munich Re has been known for its unrivalled risk-related expertise and its sound financial position. It offers customers financial protection when faced with exceptional levels of damage – from the 1906 San Francisco earthquake through to the 2019 Pacific typhoon season. Munich Re possesses outstanding innovative strength, which enables it to also provide coverage for extraordinary risks such as rocket launches, renewable energies or cyberattacks. The company is playing a key role in driving forward the digital transformation of the insurance industry, and in doing so has further expanded its ability to assess risks and the range of services that it offers. Its tailor-made solutions and close proximity to its customers make Munich Re one of the world’s most sought-after risk partners for businesses, institutions, and private individuals. For more information, visit

Source: Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC)

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