Canadian Underwriter

When disaster strikes

October 20, 2017   by Compiled by Greg Dalgetty

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It’s too early to say what the total insured losses of the B.C. wildfires will be, other than staggering. This is only the latest in a series of natural disasters that has devastated parts of Canada. According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), insured damage from natural disasters in 2016 was more than $4.9 billion—breaking the previous record of $3.2 billion set in 2013. With weather-related disasters seemingly on the rise, we take a look at the five costliest catastrophe losses of the last 10 years.

1. Fort McMurray Wildfires (2016): $3.58 BILLION IN INSURED DAMAGE

The fires displaced close to 90,000 residents and destroyed 24,000 homes, resulting in more than 27,000 personal property claims and 12,000 auto insurance claims.

2. Alberta Floods (2013): $1.72 BILLION IN INSURED DAMAGE

As many as 120,000 people were forced out of their homes; 75,000 people in Calgary were evacuated. Of the homes built in the flood zone, 254 were eligible to be bought out by the province following the disaster.

3. Toronto Flood (2013): $943 MILLION IN INSURED DAMAGE

Approximately 126 mm of rain slammed the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) on July 8, 2013, leaving about 300,000 area residents without power. A commuter train leaving downtown Toronto got stuck in the flood, stranding 1,400 passengers.

4. Slave Lake Fire (2011): $700 MILLION IN INSURED DAMAGE

One-third of this northern Alberta town was destroyed by a fire caused by arson. The entire town—7,000 people—was evacuated as a result. The blaze destroyed 400 buildings and left 2,000 people homeless.

5. Alberta Hailstorm (2014): $537 MILLION IN INSURED DAMAGE

Severe storms and hail the size of golf balls descended on parts of Alberta, including Calgary and Red Deer, on August 7 and 8, 2014. The city of Airdrie was the hardest hit, where hailstorms caused significant damage to homes and smashed car windshields.

Sources: IBC, Canadian Press, CBC, CTV News, Global News

Copyright © 2017 Transcontinental Media G.P. This article first appeared in the September 2017 edition of Canadian Insurance Top Broker magazine

This story was originally published by Canadian Insurance Top Broker.