Canadian April Storm Losses Reach $14.3 Million

May 27, 2003

The Insurance Bureau of Canada has released estimates that the rain storms that swept across the country’s Atlantic region on April 1st caused $14.3 million in insured damage to cars, homes and other properties.

“It was a devastating week,” stated Paul Kovacs, IBC Senior VP and Chief Economist. “This single event resulted in the most insured damage in Atlantic Canada history.” In Nova Scotia, where more than 100 millimetres [around 4 inches] of rain fell, insurance companies reported damages totaling $11.1 million. The bulk of the claims are for personal property damage as a result of water backing up into basements.

Losses in New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island totaled $3.2 million. “Property damage is always a difficult thing to deal with, but thankfully many Nova Scotians had the proper insurance coverage to protect them from the results of this storm,” Kovacs indicated. “This event reinforces the basic concept of insurance – to provide financial peace of mind in a world filled with risk.”

The bulletin noted that Canada’s “insurance industry is accustomed to helping people put their lives back together after natural disasters. In September 2001 floods in Atlantic Canada resulted in insurable losses of $6.1 million and the damage from the 1998 ice storm, in Eastern Ontario and Quebec, totaled $5.5 billion with the insurance industry picking up $1.7 billion of the total cost.”

It also said that natural disasters are hitting Canadians with increasing frequency and severity. “While we can be proud of the way we respond to natural disasters, there are steps that can be taken to ensure communities are better prepared to withstand the effects of these disasters,” Kovacs stressed.

The IBC’s new national Foundation for the Future program recognizes the efforts of communities to manage exposure to natural disasters, extreme weather and weather-related events. The organization, which represents over 90 percent of Canada’s P/C insurers, is working with all levels of government to create a culture of preparedness and to convince people of the need for everyone to be better prepared.

“By making the investment now to manage exposure to natural disasters, extreme weather and weather-related events, we can reduce the risk and severity of future damage,” Kovacs concluded.

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