Tantallon wildfire causes over $165 million in insured damage

Wildfires in Atlantic Canada serve as a reminder of the financial vulnerability that many Canadians face due to natural catastrophes

Toronto, ON (July 5, 2023) – The wildfire in Tantallon, Nova Scotia, that lasted from May 28 to June 4, 2023, is estimated to have caused more than $165 million (CAD) in insured damage, according to initial estimates from Catastrophe Indices and Quantification Inc. Based on total claims counts, nearly 90% of all claims related to this wildfire were personal property claims.

“The unprecedented 2023 wildfire season has devastated parts of Atlantic Canada and serves as a reminder of the increasing financial vulnerability of many Canadians due to natural catastrophes and other severe weather events. Our thoughts are with everyone whose lives have been disrupted and whose property has been damaged or totally destroyed,” said Amanda Dean, Vice-President, Atlantic, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC). “We thank all those who have been involved in the ongoing recovery process, as well as the many first responders who took part in the firefighting efforts. As recovery and rebuilding continue, Canada’s insurers will be there to assist the residents of Tantallon, Hammonds Plains and other impacted areas.”

The Tantallon wildfire forced more than 16,000 people to evacuate their homes, and thousands more were left without power. Officials have since confirmed that the wildfire either destroyed or damaged at least 200 properties, including 151 homes.

“As the frequency and severity of weather events such as wildfires continue to increase in Atlantic Canada, so too do the financial costs borne by insurers and taxpayers. We all must do better to protect ourselves from natural disasters, which continue to have an outsized impact on the most vulnerable,” said Dean. “Anyone who has been affected by the Tantallon wildfire or has questions about their home, vehicle or business insurance, should call their insurance representative. Insurance representatives are on your side and there to help. Anyone with general insurance questions can also contact IBC’s Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2ask-IBC.”

To provide insurance information to affected residents in Nova Scotia, IBC deployed its Community Assistance Mobile Pavilion (CAMP) on May 29, 2023. While on the ground in the impacted areas, IBC CAMP staff assisted thousands of Nova Scotia residents by answering their questions about home, business or vehicle insurance policies. To learn more about IBC’s recent CAMP deployment, please read IBC’s IN Focus article, “Five Questions I Heard Most Often During Nova Scotia’s Wildfires,” by Gloria Haydock, Manager of Consumer and Industry Relations, Atlantic, IBC.

Insured damage related to severe weather in Canada now routinely exceeds $2 billion annually. With a total of $3.1 billion in insured damage from severe weather, 2022 was the third-worst year on record. By comparison, between 2001 and 2010, Canadian insurers averaged $675 million a year in losses related to severe weather. IBC continues to work in close collaboration with the federal government, provinces and territories to improve Canada’s climate defence and build our resilience to the disaster risks we face due to climate change.

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 the vast majority 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 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

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. For more information, visit www.catiq.com. 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.

Source: Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC)

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