Stanley Griffin, a former president and CEO of the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), suggests the damage caused by an F1 tornado that hit his hometown of Leamington, Ontario on June 7 might run into "tens of millions of dollars."
No official estimates are available yet, as the number of claims has yet to be tallied.
Griffin said the most extensive damage he witnessed in Leamington was the collapse of a very large commercial greenhouse.
Griffin was an observer in Leamington as part of his involvement with the IBC's inaugural Community Assistance Mobile Pavilion (CAMP).
CAMP provides disaster victims with quick-response, onsite, insurance-related information.
"The good news is, I think the industry jumped on this pretty quickly," Griffin observed. "There's been a lot of clean-up already. "We ran into several insurance adjusters, and we talked to a couple of people who have had damage and they said their broker was out the next morning.
"So things are moving pretty quickly here to get people back in their homes and try and get their damage repaired as quickly as possible."
In his role with CAMP, Griffin had an opportunity to survey the damage behind the emergency services barricades established in one particularly hard-hit area of Leamington, one of two places in Ontario hit by an F1 tornado. [A second tornado tracked near two villages along the Ontario-Quebec border.]
Griffin said the residential damage he witnessed was mostly concentrated in one area, along both sides of one street, for about a kilometer.
"It's mostly trees down, big, old, old mature trees," he said. "A lot of them are uprooted and several of them have come down on houses or cars."
Many residents were outside their homes wearing rubber gloves and cleaning up shards of broken glass, Griffin said.
He encouraged residents to check with their individual insurers. He said many residents might be surprised to find out that although damage to homes is often covered, some insurance policies do not cover the replacement of the fallen trees.