IBC Proposes National Flood Program

Published: September 24, 2016

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones



At a discussion with the Charlottetown Chamber of Commerce, the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) has warned that insurance companies need to be more prepared for natural disasters. Climate change has increased the frequency of major weather events and large insurance losses.

The IBC says that weather events are a problem for all Canadians and the country needs to be more prepared to deal with them.

Amanda Dean, IBC vice president, Atlantic, spoke during a debate called entitled floods, fires, and other forces of nature: How to disaster-proof Canada. High on the agenda was the needs for a national flood strategy, something that has been debated for many years.

“We’ve seen a rapid increase in severe weather here on the Island, across Canada, and around the world,” Dean said.

“While damage caused by severe weather – such as wind, hail and ice storms – is often covered by insurance, there is currently no system in place in Canada to ensure that victims of flooding events are adequately protected.”

The bureau has already proposed a framework for managing the financial burden of flood prevention. Managing the flood risk involves dividing responsibilities equally amongst the P&C insurance industry, consumers, and the government. It has long been said that the insurance industry alone cannot prop up a national flood strategy.

Under the terms of the proposal, the IBC suggests that the insurance industry can manage to provide flood protection to most Canadians. However, high-risk properties should be protected with a flood program aided by the government.

“IBC applauds the government for taking a collaborative and thoughtful approach to climate change issues,” remarked Dean. “We are particularly pleased to see that equal weight is being given to adaptation and mitigation efforts. The adaptation element of climate change response is occasionally forgotten, but it is an absolutely essential piece of the puzzle.”