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April/May flooding in Quebec & Ontario results in over CA$223mn insured loss: IBC

4th September 2017 - Author: Luke Gallin

Two storms and subsequent major flooding in parts of Ontario and Quebec in early April, combined with a severe flooding event in the regions during early May, 2017, has resulted in an insurance industry loss of over CA$223 million (US$179 million), reports the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC).

Quebec floods May 2017This is according to analysis from Catastrophe Indices and Quantification Inc. (CatIQ), which provides analytical and meteorological information on Canadian natural and man-made natural disasters.

“Climate change is causing severe weather events, especially storms involving floods, to happen more frequently and with greater intensity. While the insured damage from the spring floods is significant, the total cost to homeowners and government is not yet known,” said Craig Stewart, Vice President of Federal Affairs, IBC.

From April 5th to April 7th, 2017, two low pressure systems brought major flooding to Southern Quebec, and also wind damage across both Quebec and Ontario. This system, says the IBC, caused insured losses of more than CA$106 million (US$86 million).

A month later, from May 5th to May 7th, 2017, substantial rainfall for a number of days resulted in significant flooding in Eastern Canada, with much of the damage occurring in both Ontario and Quebec. Some areas saw as much as 155 mm of rain over the 5th and 6th of May, 2017, and the event caused insured losses of almost CA$117 million (US$94.3 million), according to the IBC.

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“Flooding coupled with windstorms can cause significant damage in a very short amount of time. Recent events, like Hurricane Harvey in the United States, show how unprepared we are and why it is so important for governments, industry, and consumers to work together to protect residents and communities. Therefore, we applaud federal Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale’s leadership in hosting a Ministerial Round Table on Flood Risk this November in Regina,” added Stewart.

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