Severe weather: 2020 ranked as 4th most expensive year for insurance damage

A report ranked 2020 as the fourth-most expensive year for severe weather-related insurance claims.

Issued this week by the Insurance Bureau of Canada, a news release said insured damage for severe weather events across the nation totalled just under $2.4 billion.

The most expensive year for severe weather insurance damage was 2016, when $5.261 billion was paid out. Next were 2013 ($3.418 billion), then 1998 ($2.494 billion). In fifth was 2018 ($2.113 billion).

Read more: Calgary hailstorm tops Environment Canada’s annual Top 10 weather stories list

“Taxpayers and insurers share the cost for severe weather damage,” reads part of the report. “For every dollar paid in insurance claims for damaged homes and businesses, Canadian governments and taxpayers pay out much more to repair public infrastructure that severe weather has damaged.”

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Officially, 2020’s total was $2.388 billion, with $1.3 billion of that resulting from a Calgary hailstorm on June 13.

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A list of 2020’s top six expensive weather events are as follows:

  • Calgary hailstorm, June 13: $1.3 billion
  • Fort McMurray flooding, April 26 to May 3: $562 billion
  • Central and Southern Alberta storms, July and August: $221 million
  • Southern Ontario and Quebec rain and snowstorms, Jan. 10: $98 million
  • Ontario windstorm, July and August: $88 million
  • B.C. rainstorm, Jan. 31: $42 million

In the release, Craig Stewart, IBC’s vice-president of federal affairs, said “Canadians continue to experience accelerating financial losses from climate change.”

He continued, stating “while acknowledging the importance of a resilient recovery, the federal government lacks any national plan to protect Canadians from floods, fires, windstorms and hail. For all of its work on reducing future climate threats, too little attention is being paid to the losses Canadians are facing today due to past inaction.”

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