Canadian Underwriter

The insured damage cost of December’s windstorm in eastern Canada

January 13, 2022   by Alyssa DiSabatino

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The windstorm that swept across Ontario, Quebec and the Atlantic provinces between Dec. 11 and 14 caused more than $152 million in insured damage, according to estimates from Catastrophe Indices and Quantification Inc. (CatIQ). 

The eastern Canada windstorm brought strong winds to Ontario and Quebec, along with heavy rain and wind to parts of the Atlantic provinces, namely Newfoundland and Labrador.  

Reports of flooding, downed trees that caused power outages and hazardous road conditions were among the damage listed.  

In southern Ontario, 450,000 customers lost power, says utility Hydro One. On Dec. 13, they logged over 250 broken poles and 53 damaged transformers caused by violent windstorms at over 100 kilometres per hour. 

The storm left nearly 400,000 people without power in Quebec on Dec. 12, but 330,000 homes had their power restored by Dec. 13, Hydro-Quebec reports. 

The insured damage across the provinces totalled over $152 million. The windstorm resulted in more than $100 million in insured losses in Ontario, more than $40 million in Quebec, and less than $10 million in Atlantic Canada, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) reports.  

“Insured losses related to natural catastrophic events averaged $2 billion per year between 2009 and 2020, compared with an average of $422 million per year in the 1983 to 2008 period,” Craig Stewart, vice president of federal affairs with IBC, says in a press release.  

Despite the damage done, the eastern Canada windstorms did not make it onto ECCC’s Top Ten Weather Stories in Canada 2021, which was released on Dec. 16, only shortly after the windstorm occurred. 


Feature image by Filon