January 25, 2012 by Canadian Underwriter
The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) met with city staff and an Ottawa councilor to discuss the potential impact of the City of Ottawa’s efforts to reduce the risk of flooding in its west end of Kanata, yourottawaregion.com reports.
Ottawa dedicated $32 million in water and sewer infrastructure upgrades, including the replacement of manhole covers, upgrades to its Hazeldean Pumping Station, drainage system improvements and a program for residents to purchase backwater valves and sump pumps.
The improvements came after 1,500 homes in the area were flooded in 2009.
Ottawa city staff said they hoped residents would start to see their home insurance premiums positively affected once all of the improvements were completed, likely in a year.
Pete Karageorgos, IBC’s manager of consumer and industry relations, noted that it is up to individual insurance companies to set their own rates. Also, insurers base their rates on long-term historical data, so it might be some time before the impact of the infrastructure changes are reflected in the rates.
Nevertheless, Karageorgos noted the meeting between the IBC and the municipality was a first of its kind and could be a model for other municipalities as well.