Huge BC blazes cause “light” property damage

Published: August 21, 2018



British Columbia is burning through another massive wildfire season, following 2017’s record year for blazes. However, so far, the extensive wildfires have not caused massive damage, despite their severity. That’s according to Glenn McGillivray, managing director of the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction (ICLR), who described property damage as “light”.

While McGillivray has warned insurers to stay vigilant, his assessment was echoed by Intact Insurance, Canada’s largest carrier. Speaking to Canadian Underwriter, Intact said it has had “minimal claims activity to date” from wildfires in British Columbia.

Reports suggest some claims are incoming, but not a widespread level. For example, over 40 properties were destroyed by a fire in Telegraph Creek.

However, the numbers could be far worse considering the BC government has issued a state of emergency because of the blazes. The provincial government has evacuated 14,000 people from homes around the province as 600 wildfires remain alight.

For the most part, fires have not claimed many properties, but Intact says it is keeping tabs on the situation. The company says, “teams will be able to respond immediately to support customers if the situation worsens.”

While damage has been relatively minimal so far, McGillivray points out 12 communities in BC remain in high-risk zones where the situation could change quickly.