Every community across Canada is at heightened risk of natural catastrophes
TORONTO, Jan. 18, 2023 /CNW/ - Severe weather across Canada continues to highlight the financial costs of a changing climate to insurers, governments and taxpayers. Nationally, insured damage for severe weather events reached $3.1 billion last year, according to Catastrophe Indices and Quantification Inc. (CatIQ).
2022 now ranks as the 3rd worst year for insured losses in Canadian history. While the $3.1 billion figure is alarming, no single catastrophic event nor any particular region accounted for the majority of losses. Unlike 2016, the highest loss year on record, where the Fort McMurray, Alberta, wildfire accounted for about 75% of national losses, 2022 saw disasters from nearly every part of the country.
Noteworthy severe weather events last year include Hurricane Fiona, the Ontario and Quebec derecho, the Eastern Canada late-winter storm, the Western Canada summer storms and the Eastern Canada bomb cyclone.
Insured Damage for Severe Weather Events in 2022
Eastern Canada late-winter storm
Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario flooding
Ontario and Quebec severe storms
Eastern Canada bomb cyclone
BC winter storm and king tide
Canada's Top 10 Highest Insured Loss Years on Record (loss and adjusted expenses in 2022 dollars)
Total loss ($ billion)
Notable severe weather event
Fort McMurray, Alberta, fire
Alberta floods; Greater Toronto Area (GTA)
Quebec ice storm
Calgary hailstorm; British Columbia floods
Fort McMurray, Alberta, flood; Calgary
Multiple events: Ontario and Quebec
Slave Lake, Alberta, fire and windstorm
Sources 1983?2007: IBC, PCS Canada, Swiss Re, Deloitte. 2008?2021: CatIQ.
"Canada is increasingly a riskier place to live, work and insure," said Craig Stewart, Vice-President, Climate Change and Federal Issues, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC). "Governments have spent far too little attention to adaptation in the discourse over climate policy. This spring, the federal government needs to lead the way in finalizing a National Adaptation Strategy and boldly funding both community-level infrastructure and property-level retrofits that increase resilience to floods, windstorms, heat events and wildfires.
"In particular, we're seeing early signs that property insurance may become less affordable or even unavailable as global reinsurers shift capacity away from riskier countries," continues Stewart. "Now is the time for Canadian insurers and governments to partner on a National Flood Insurance Program to ensure Canadian homeowners remain financially resilient in the face of these growing number and severity of events."
IBC continues in-depth discussions with the federal and provincial governments on ways to improve the resilience of communities and better manage the costs of flooding for high-risk residential properties in Canada. Federal, provincial, territorial and Indigenous governments collaborated with insurers to finalize the "Task Force Report on Flood Insurance and Relocation" in August 2022. The federal government is now examining options to create a national residential flood insurance program that will offer affordable insurance to all residents at high risk of overland flooding, including storm surge, through a public-private partnership. Most G7 countries already have such a program in place.
In today's world of extreme weather events, insured catastrophic losses in Canada now routinely exceed $2 billion annually, most of it due to water-related damage. In the decade before 2008, Canadian insurers averaged only $456 million a year in severe weather-related losses.
Insured damage trends, including 2022's towering total, will feature prominently at CatIQ Connect ? Canada's premiere catastrophe conference. CatIQ Connect hosts a content-driven discussion to foster collaboration before, during and after catastrophic events. Stakeholders from industry, government and academia delve into detailed overviews of catastrophes, discuss strategies in catastrophe management and explore sector perspectives. Overall themes are preparedness, resiliency, available tools and cross-sector collaboration as we work together for the greater good of all Canadians.
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 media releases and more information, visit IBC's Media Centre at www.ibc.ca. Follow us on Twitter @InsuranceBureau and like us on Facebook. If you have a question about home, auto or business insurance, contact IBC's Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2ask-IBC.
Toronto-based CatIQ is a subsidiary of Zurich-based PERILS AG and delivers detailed analytical and meteorological information on Canadian natural and human-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.
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. For more information, please visit https://public.catiq.com/.
SOURCE Insurance Bureau of Canada
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