Canadian Underwriter

Toronto flood caused $80M in insured damage


September 7, 2018   by Staff


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Copyright: Martin HaasA month ago today, a thunderstorm produced 72 mm of rain over Toronto, with 51 mm falling in just one hour. The rainfall caused extensive flooding across western and central parts of the city and resulted in over $80 million in insured damage.

“The recent Toronto flood is yet another example of an increase in severe weather events across the country,” says Kim Donaldson, vice-president, Ontario, IBC. “As a direct result of climate change these flooding events are occurring more frequently and with greater intensity, with escalating costs to both taxpayers and insurers.”

Severe weather across Ontario has caused close to $1 billion in insured damage so far in 2018, according to Catastrophe Indices and Quantification Inc. A large part of this amount is due to an early-May windstorm that caused over $500 million in damage. The most costly insured severe weather event of all time for Ontario remains the 2013 Toronto floods, which caused almost $1 billion in damage.

The August storm resulted in flooding at Toronto’s City Hall, in the Scotiabank Arena during a concert, in parts of Union Station and in the Rogers Centre parking garage, in addition to water seeping through the Rogers Centre roof during a baseball game. Many underground parking garages flooded, and there were numerous reports of submerged vehicles, basement flooding and sewer backups.

Donaldson adds, “Flooding can cause significant damage in a very short amount of time. It is critically important for consumers to know what their policies cover and whether they provide sewer backup or overland flood protection. Sewer backup coverage is widely available as an add-on to most standard home insurance policies.

“Overland flood protection is available across the province from several insurers. People who live in areas prone to frequent floods may run into difficulty finding affordable coverage. Consumers should check with their insurance representatives to see what options are available to them.”

IBC reminds consumers to be insurance aware and to check what your policy covers before severe weather occurs. Ask your insurance representative about what coverage is included or what coverage you need to add, like overland flood coverage, for example. Consumers who have insurance questions can also call IBC’s Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2ask-IBC.

Key facts

In 2018, severe weather events in Ontario have resulted in close to $1 billion in insured damage.

  • January: A winter storm in northern, southwestern and eastern Ontario caused $9 million in insured damage.
  • February: A winter storm in Brantford, Cambridge, the Greater Toronto Area and Londoncaused more than $46 million in insured damage.
  • April: A storm in southern Ontario resulted in over $80 million in insured damage.
  • April: A storm that hit the Greater Toronto Area, Leamington, Hamilton, Kitchener/Guelph/Waterloo, London/ChathamKent and OttawaGatineau resulted in close to $220 million in insured damage.
  • May: A wind and rain storm hit Hamilton and the Greater Toronto Area causing over $500 million in insured damage.
  • August: The rainstorm in Toronto resulted in over $80 million in insured damage.

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This story was originally published by Canadian Insurance Top Broker.