By: Joanne Carmichael

“The record damage reported in 2016 is part of an upward trend that shows no signs of stopping. That is why Canada’s property and casualty insurance industry is calling on governments across the country to come together and implement expansive climate policies that will better prepare Canadians and their communities for when disasters strike.”

There have been temperature-change trends, higher wind-load trends, and evidence of wildfires for example in Fort Mac or Kelowna … in Calgary, where we’ve had flood situations where they’ve knocked out entire cities. Extreme weather has become a trend!

Here’s a look at some of the most costly Canadian insurance disasters:

  1. Fort Murray Wildfire May 2016 – 3.6 billion of damage
  2. Alberta floods in 2013 -1.8 million of insured damage
  3. 1998 Ice Storm in Eastern Ontario and Quebec – 1.49 billion in insured damages
  4. Toronto Flood in 2013 – $943 million
  5. Slave Lake Alberta fires – 2011- $700 million in insured damages
  6. Toronto Flood- August 2005- $590 million in insured damages
  7. Calgary Hailstorm- September 1991- $343 million
  8. Alberta Hailstorm- September 2014- $537 million in insured damages
  9. Calgary Area storm- August 2012- Winds and thunderstorms- $530 million
  10. Calgary Storm- July 12th & 13rth 2015- hail & heavy rain- $500 million

If we look at 2016, we had:

  • March 23-26 Southern Ontario Ice Storm (Fergus, Orangeville, Barrie, Newmarket)
  • May 3-19 Fort McMurray Wild Fire (Wood Buffalo, Fort McMurray)
  • June 24-25 Northern Ontario and Prairie Storms (Saskatoon, West Hawk Lake, Killarney, Thunder Bay)
  • June 28-30 Prairie Storms (Calgary, Edmonton, Okotoks, Southern Saskatchewan and Manitoba)
  • July 8 Southern Ontario Storms (Bradford, Markdale, London)
  • July 8-11 Western Canada Storms (Edmonton, Calgary, Estevan, Southwestern Manitoba)
  • July 15-16 Prairie Storms (Calgary, Swift Current)
  • July 18-20 Southern Prairie Storms (Medicine Hat, Outlook, Winnipeg)
  • July 22 Moose Jaw Hailstorm (Moose Jaw)
  • July 27 Ontario-Quebec Storms (Toronto, Saguenay)
  • July 30 – August 1 Prairie Storms (Calgary, Airdrie, Fort McMurray, Yorkton, Melville, Winnipeg)
  • September 28-30 Windsor Flooding (Windsor, LaSalle, Tecumseh)
  • October 9-11 Atlantic Flooding (Cape Breton Regional Municipality, the Connaigre Peninsula, the central region and south coast of the island portion of Newfoundland and Labrador)

2017 is showing its fair share of major disasters and claims. We of course had the major flooding right here in the Ottawa area and Quebec. We’ve had wild fires in B.C and major wind damage across the province in August. The claims disaster crews are also back to the Windsor area again this August for round 2 of flooding as they suffered some major flooding in 2016 as well. These are just a few disasters.

So what do insurance companies typically cover when it comes to weather disasters?

  • Fire
  • Lightning
  • Water, including Water Escape, Rupture, Freezing, Ice Back Up
  • Smoke
  • Windstorm or Hail
  • Collapse due to Weight of Snow, Ice or Sleet

** Optional Coverages:

  1. Earthquake coverage is usually an optional add on to a policy
  2. Flood coverage is sometimes an option **(water losses are most common claim)

If you don’t know what your home insurance policy covers, I urge you to find out as not all home insurance policies are created equal. Make sure your home insurance covers you for flood due to the frequency of insurance claims for water.

Joanne Carmichael is the owner of Carmichael Insurance in the Ottawa Region.  To learn more please contact Joanne Carmichael at:  or 613-723-0747.

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