On-Site Magazine

Insurance estimate from B.C. floods hits $450 million

Storm could be the costliest severe weather event in the province's history.

December 13, 2021   Adam Freill
Infrastructure

The recent flooding in southern British Columbia is estimated to have caused $450 million in insured damage, according to preliminary estimates from Catastrophe Indices and Quantification Inc. (CatIQ). These figures, released by the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), suggest that this will be the costliest severe weather event in the province’s history.

The storms resulted in the tragic loss of life, as well as devastating mudslides and flooding. Public infrastructure, including major highways, was destroyed, choking supply chains. Given the scale of the disaster, IBC reports the overall economic losses are expected to be much higher than the insured-loss figure.

“While the insurance damage stemming from these flood events is significant, the sad reality is that many residents impacted were located in high-risk flood areas and floodplains where flood insurance coverage is not available,” said Aaron Sutherland, IBC vice-president, Pacific and Western. “As a result, the overwhelming majority of costs for this disaster will be borne by government and taxpayers.”

He stated that more needs to be done to build resilience to risks associated with the changing climate. To that end, IBC has been leading conversations with the federal and provincial governments on ways to better protect communities moving forward.

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“This year, British Columbians have seen first-hand the devastating impact our changing climate can have,” said Sutherland. “We must greatly enhance our efforts to mitigate future climate change and to adapt to the new weather reality we face.”

www.ibc.ca