February 26, 2004 by Canadian Underwriter
The severe winter storms striking the Atlantic coast of Canada late last week should produce few insured losses, says Don Forgeron, Atlantic region vice president for the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC).
“The good news is there weren’t many vehicles on the road,” he says. “Surprisingly, there has not been any serious accident, and very few accidents period, as people respected the state of emergency that was declared and the curfews.”
Over 90 centimeters of snow fell February 18-19, having the worst impact in Nova Scotia, while PEI saw 60 centimeters of snowfall. Another system hit on the weekend, adding to the difficulty in cleaning up, and extending Nova Scotia’s state of emergency, as well as the nighttime curfews instituted in Halifax. Thousands were left without hydro, specifically in southern Nova Scotia. Meteorologists dubbed the storm a “weather bomb”, as it produced the highest single-day snowfall on record for Halifax.
Forgeron says, given the massive amounts of snow dumped on Nova Scotia, residents and insurers were lucky to have escaped more damage.
He also wanted to refute some media reports that the state of emergency suspended insurance coverage. The IBC sent out a release on Monday to assure policyholders that their coverage was still in effect and insured losses would be paid. “Insurers were there for Nova Scotians following Hurricane Juan and they were there for Nova Scotians during the recent record breaking snow storm,” Forgeron says. “Consumers should be reassured that their insurance coverage is not affected in any way by the recent weather or the state of emergency that was declared.”