More than $875 million in insured damage after May storms in Quebec and Ontario

MONTREAL — The severe thunderstorms that swept through Ontario and Quebec on May 21 caused insured damage of more than $875 million, according to initial estimates from the firm Catastrophe Indices and Quantification (CatIQ) made public on Wednesday.

This amount ranks the storm — also called derecho — the sixth costliest claim in Canada, in terms of insured damage. In particular, it exceeds the floods in British Columbia last year.

In Ontario, insured damage is estimated at $720 million. In Quebec, they would amount to $155 million.

Damage caused by wind is generally covered by home or business insurance policies or auto insurance policies without collision or upset, says the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) in a press release. It was the wind that caused most of the property damage, it added, although there was also heavy rain and hail.

“As this was essentially an insurable event, insurers were there from day one, working hard to help their customers through the claims process. They will also be present until all the claims of their policyholders have been processed,” said Kim Donaldson, vice-president, Ontario, of BAC.

The storm front, which mainly affected the Outaouais, the Laurentians, Lanaudière, Mauricie and the Capitale-Nationale in Quebec, caused the death of at least 11 people in Ontario and Quebec as well as thousands of power outages. electricity.

Government action requested

With eight of Canada’s 10 costliest natural disasters occurring since 2011, IBC says it wants « the adoption of a national adaptation strategy that will translate into concrete, short-term actions that will enhance Canada’s climate defense. » « .

The ranking of the May storm as the sixth highest insured loss in Canada is “a sad reminder of the growing risk that climate change poses to communities across the country,” IBC wrote in a statement.

Additionally, BAC is calling for “inexpensive, yet effective changes to national and provincial building codes.”

In particular, IBC mentions the importance of investing in infrastructure to reduce the impact of floods and fires on Canadians and to improve land use planning.

Homes and businesses should be outside the most at-risk areas, it added.

The most expensive natural disaster in terms of claims settlement remains the Fort McMurray fires in 2016 ($4 billion), followed by the ice storm in the east of the country in 1998 ($2.3 billion), according to CatIQ data.


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