Harvey is a warning for Canadians to get home insurance in order

Published: September 1, 2017

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones



Hurricane Harvey has caused unprecedented damage and brought devastating floods to areas of Texas, as the first category 3 storm (Harvey is a CAT 4) to make landfall on the U.S. in 12 years. The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) says Harvey is a reminder for Canadian homeowners to make sure their home insurance protects them.

Craig Stewart, vice-president of IBC says the total insurance loss of Harvey will take months to calculate:

“It’s clearly going to be one of the most costly [North American] events ever both from an insured and non-insured perspective,” Stewart said. “It’s going to take a long time for Houston to get back on its feet. And until businesses are operating, commercial losses will continue to mount.”

While the insurance loss will be massive, many homeowners will not be properly insured. It is a stark reminder for Canadians to make sure their home insurance protects in adequate ways. If customers live in areas at risk from flooding or other natural events, they should ensure their homes and contents are properly covered.

Canada has been subjected to flood events this year, notably two major storms in Eastern Ontario and Quebec. The IBC today said both those storms resulted in over $200 million in insured damage:

“April 5 – 7 Ontario-Quebec Storms

From April 5 to 7, a pair of low-pressure systems led to major flooding in Southern Quebec and wind damage across parts of Ontario and Quebec. Roads, homes, and businesses were flooded in Quebec as rivers overflowed and sewers backed up. Following the heavy rains, strong wind gusts downed trees and power lines across many areas of both provinces. This system caused over $106 million in insured damage.

May 5 – 7 Flooding Event

Multiple days of significant rainfall led to significant flooding across parts of Eastern Canada with the majority of damage occurring in Eastern Ontario and Quebec. The heaviest rainfall occurred on May 5th and 6th, with some areas recording up to 155 mm of rain. There were numerous states of emergency declared in Southern Quebec, and Eastern Ontario with thousands of residences affected and people evacuated from their homes. This system caused nearly $117 million in insured damage.”