IBC: Ontario and Quebec storms cost $223 million in insured damage

Published: September 1, 2017

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones



Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) says that two major flood events in Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec resulted in more than $223 million insured damages. The national insurance organization says it took the data from Catastrophe Indices and Quantification Inc. (CatIQ).

"Climate change is causing severe weather events, especially storms involving floods, to happen more frequently and with greater intensity. While the insured damage from the spring floods is significant, the total cost to homeowners and government is not yet known," said Craig Stewart, Vice-President, Federal Affairs, IBC.

"Flooding coupled with windstorms can cause significant damage in a very short amount of time. Recent events, like Hurricane Harvey in the United States, show how unprepared we are and why it is so important for governments, industry, and consumers to work together to protect residents and communities. Therefore, we applaud federal Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale's leadership in hosting a Ministerial Round Table on Flood Risk this November in Regina."

There were two storms in spring that resulted in the cat losses. The first occurred from April 5 to 7 in Ontario and Quebec. The storm was created by a pair of low-pressure systems that met and resulted in heavy rainfall. Major floods occurred in both provinces. Roads, buildings, and infrastructure losses were taken in Ontario and Quebec as rivers burst banks and sewers blocked. This first storm resulted in $106 million in insured damage.

A month later between May 5 and 7, heavy rain across Eastern Ontario and Quebec resulted in widespread flooding across the region. Some areas recorded rainfall of 155mm in two days, with states of emergency declared in many communities. IBC confirms this system cost $117 million in damages.