Thanksgiving floods in Atlantic Canada caused more than $100 million in insured damage

HALIFAX, Nov. 18, 2016 /CNW/ - Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) reports that a tropical moisture system resulting from Hurricane Matthew that swept through Atlantic Canada last month resulted in over $100 million in insured damage according to Catastrophe Indices and Quantification Inc. (CatIQ).

A cold front interacting with Matthew's tropical moisture resulted in a low-pressure system that quickly intensified and brought hurricane strength winds and intense rainfall to parts of Atlantic Canada. Most damage was reported to have occurred in Nova Scotia. The storm stalled as it passed over that province and caused significant flooding on Cape Breton Island. Sydney, NS received close to 225mm of rain in a single day. This shattered the city's previous single day record of 129mm.

"This storm was one of the most devastating we have seen in recent memory," said Amanda Dean, Vice-President, Atlantic, IBC. "The flooding caused by this system was a sobering reminder of the power of Mother Nature and the impacts that severe weather can have on our communities. All residents in Atlantic Canada should take this opportunity to review their insurance policies, talk to their insurance representatives to see what products are available, and make sure they're adequately covered for when bad weather strikes."

Flooding and related sewer backup damage is costly for homeowners, businesses, municipalities and insurance companies. From ensuring that important documents are not stored in your basement to installing a sump pump, there are many ways to be proactive such as:

  • Keep a current and detailed home inventory.
  • If your neighbourhood is prone to flooding, take precautions throughout your house and property.
  • Assemble a disaster safety kit.
  • Create an emergency preparedness plan for your family, covering at least 72 hours.

"Canada is the only G7 country without a national strategy to deal with overland flooding," added Dean. "The Atlantic floods demonstrated that, despite new overland flood insurance coverage being increasingly available to homeowners, there is a need for coordinated action. More remains to be done and all stakeholders have a role to play."

IBC and Canada's property and casualty insurers will continue educating consumers about coverage options, and working with federal and provincial government officials to ensure every Canadian has access to adequate financial protection. Addressing these gaps in public policy and consumer protection can only be possible if industry and government work together to implement a national flood program. 

About Insurance Bureau of Canada
Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is the national industry association representing Canada's private home, auto and business insurers. Its member companies make up 90% of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance market in Canada. For more than 50 years, IBC has worked with governments across the country to help make affordable home, auto and business insurance available for all Canadians. IBC supports the vision of consumers and governments trusting, valuing and supporting the private P&C insurance industry. It champions key issues and helps educate consumers on how best to protect their homes, cars, businesses and properties.

P&C insurance touches the lives of nearly every Canadian and plays a critical role in keeping businesses safe and the Canadian economy strong. It employs more than 120,000 Canadians, pays $8.2 billion in taxes and has a total premium base of $49 billion.  

For media releases and more information, visit IBC's Media Centre at www.ibc.ca. Follow IBC on Twitter @InsuranceBureau and @IBC_Atlantic or like us on Facebook. If you have a question about home, auto or business insurance, contact IBC's Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2ask-IBC.

About CatIQ
Catastrophe Indices and Quantification Inc. (CatIQ) delivers detailed analytical and meteorological information on Canadian natural and man-made catastrophes. Through its online subscription-based platform, CatIQ combines comprehensive insured loss indices and other related information to better serve the needs of the insurance and reinsurance industries, public sector and other stakeholders. To learn more, visit www.catiq.com.

If you require more information, IBC spokespeople are available to discuss the details in this media release.

SOURCE Insurance Bureau of Canada

For further information: To schedule an interview, please contact: Andrew McGrath, Manager, Media Relations, IBC, 416-362-2031 ext. 4312, amcgrath@ibc.ca

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