Canadian Underwriter

March storm in Ontario tops $25 million in insured damage: CatIQ estimate

April 20, 2016   by Canadian Underwriter

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The cost of insured damage caused by the ice storm that swept through southern Ontario between March 23 and 26 is estimated at more than $25 million, according to preliminary estimates provided by Catastrophe Indices and Quantification Inc. (CatIQ).

Tree Damage from the Ice StormCatIQ compiles and combines comprehensive insured-loss amounts and related information to serve the risk management needs of the insurance and reinsurance industries.

While the storm hit many areas in the province, Fergus, Orangeville, Barrie, Newmarket and surrounding areas were particularly affected by the storm, the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) said in a press release on Wednesday. Strong winds and freezing rain toppled fences, trees and power lines, and left hundreds without power.

“In recent years, we’ve seen first-hand the impact that these storms can have, and the damage they do to our homes and businesses,” said Kim Donaldson, vice president, Ontario, IBC, said in the release.

Impact Forecasting, Aon Benfield’s catastrophe model development team, estimated earlier this month that total economic losses from a winter storm in Ontario and Quebec on March 24 and 25 were estimated to approach $130 million. The March 24-25 storm, Impacting Forecasting said, tracked into southern Canada from the United States, bringing accumulating snow, ice and freezing rain to portions of the two provinces, causing widespread damage.

Southern Ontario was particularly impacted, the Global Catastrophe Recap for March said, as trees collapsed onto homes and vehicles under the weight of up to 30 millimetres of ice. Beyond structural damage, power outages were blamed on a spike of sump pump failures, which led to flooding in basements. Treacherous driving conditions additionally prompted hundreds of traffic accidents, the report said.

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