IBC says two biggest B.C. wildfires caused over $127 million in insurance damages

Published: September 27, 2017

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones



Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) says the two largest wildfires in British Columbia this summer resulted in over $127 million in insurance damages. The Bureau cites data from Catastrophe Indices and Quantification Inc.

British Columbia was plagued by the busiest wildfire season recorded, with hundreds of fires blazing through the province all summer. Residents were displaced the insurance losses are predicted to be huge.

IBC is providing some of the earliest loss estimated, putting the figure around $127 million for the two largest blazes:

"The size and scale of the wildfires this summer have been the largest in British Columbia's history," said Aaron Sutherland, Vice-President, Pacific, IBC. "These wildfires are yet more evidence that severe weather events are happening with greater frequency and intensity across Canada. Given these trends, a more disciplined and sustained approach is required to help British Columbians prepare for natural disaster.  Governments, businesses, and individuals all have a role to play to help build a culture of preparedness in this province."

The Williams Lake wildfires caused nearly $100 million in insurance losses on their own, hitting homes, vehicles, and commercial properties. The Elephant Hill fire caused over $27 million of insurance damages.

"Immediately following the evacuations, IBC and Canada's insurers were on the ground in BC's interior and Cariboo helping evacuees with their insurance-related questions," added Sutherland. "We were proud to work in close partnership with the Government of British Columbia, Emergency Management BC, local municipalities, and the Canadian Red Cross to help British Columbians affected by these fires get the service and support they needed."