Reinsurance News

Hurricane Fiona insured damage estimate now pegged at over $800m: CatIQ

6th January 2023 - Author: Kane Wells

Insured damages from Hurricane Fiona are now estimated at over $800 million, according to Catastrophe Indices and Quantification Inc. (CatIQ), as it remains the most costly extreme weather event ever recorded in Atlantic Canada.

CatIQ has reported that the event is now the seventh largest in Canada’s history in terms of insured damages.

Making its first landfall in Atlantic Canada on Saturday, September 24, 2022, with maximum wind gusts exceeding 100 km/h, Fiona resulted in the tragic loss of life, alongside torrential rainfall, large waves, storm surges, downed trees and widespread power outages.

The majority of the increase in insured damages is due to personal property claims, states CatIQ, though it notes that many affected residents were located in high-risk flood areas and flood plains where residential flood insurance coverage is generally not available.

The firm adds that the damages that occurred in these areas are not included in the insured-damage total.

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Thus, it expects that the cost to all orders of government from these events will total well into the billions of dollars once infrastructure and disaster financial assistance to uninsured residents is tallied.

When Reinsurance News last covered CatIQ’s insured damage estimate for Fiona, the cost totalled at $660 million, spelling a $140 million increase since October last year.

Amanda Dean, Vice-President, Atlantic, Insurance Bureau of Canada, commented, “It is clear that a good deal of costs for this disaster will be borne by government. As we continue to see the increasing impacts of climate change, it’s clear much more must be done to enhance our resilience to these risks and build a culture of preparedness.

This includes investments in new infrastructure to reduce the impact of floods and fires on communities, as well as retrofit programs that focus on resilience, improved building codes, better land-use planning and, increasingly, the creation of incentives to shift the development of homes and businesses away from areas of highest risk.”

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