Two storms that raged across Alberta and Saskatchewan in Canada in July and August caused C $ 120 million (US $ 94.5 million) in insured damage, while the August forest fire in White Rock Lake, in British Columbia, caused damages of C $ 77 million (US $ 61 million), according to initial estimates by Catastrophe Indices and Quantification Inc. (CatIQ).
The Insurance Bureau of Canada, which released the totals for the two events in separate announcements on September 23.
Detailing losses caused by the storm, IBC said the high winds, hail and rain on July 22 caused C $ 56 million ($ 44.1 million) in insured damage, while severe storms on July 31 August caused flash floods and large hail that caused an additional C $ 64 million ($ 50.4 million). million) in insured damage.
Hail damaged homes and vehicles in both provinces, while high winds knocked down trees and power lines, leaving many people without power for hours, the IBC said in a statement.
“As our climate changes, the frequency and severity of weather events increase, as do the financial costs to insurers and taxpayers,” commented Aaron Sutherland, Vice President, Western and Pacific, Insurance Bureau of the Canada (LAC). “Nowhere is this more true than in Alberta. Of the 10 costliest natural disasters in Canadian history, six have struck Alberta.
“These storms are the latest in a very worrying trend and closely follow a hail event in Calgary earlier this summer that caused more than C $ 500 million ($ 394 million) in insured damage on July 2,” continued the BAC.
Calgary also witnessed the costliest hailstorm in Canadian history last year, causing an estimated C $ 1.2 billion ($ 945 million) in insured damage, making it the fourth costliest natural disaster of all time. The costliest natural disaster on record was the Fort McMurray wildfire in 2016, which resulted in nearly C $ 4 billion ($ 3.2 billion) in insured losses. The second-highest loss, at $ 3.5 billion ($ 2.8 billion), occurred in 2013 and included flooding in southern Alberta.
The IBC said the White Rock Lake wildfire, which began on August 2, will likely cost C $ 77 million on more than 800 claims, the majority of which relate to residential properties.
“The wildfires devastated British Columbia this summer and are a tragic reminder of the growing risk facing communities across the province and across the country from climate change,” said IBC. “As our climate changes, the frequency and severity of weather events such as forest fires increase, as do the financial costs borne by insurers and taxpayers. “
The amount of insured damage is an estimate provided by CatIQ under license to the IBC, which is the industry association representing home, auto and business insurers in Canada. Its member companies represent 90% of the P&C insurance market in Canada.
Source: Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC)
Photograph: A pyrocumulus cloud, also known as a cloud of fire, produced by the Lytton Creek forest fire rises into the sky from the fire burning in the mountains above Lytton, Colombia -British, Sunday August 15, 2021. Photo credit: Darryl Dyck / The Canadian Press via UKTN.
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