Ontario storms cost insurers nearly $1 billion year-to-date

Published: September 10, 2018



Ontario has had a busy year of cat events and major weather systems, with insurers picking up a bill for nearly $1 billion in insured damage with three months of 2018 to come. The figure was reported Friday by the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC).

Included in the losses for the year is the recent Aug. 7 thunderstorm that dumped 72 millimetres of rain over Toronto. The City of Toronto endured a month’s worth of rain in less than three hours on Tuesday as a “pocket storm” hit the region. Over $80 million in insured damages have been covered in claims.

“The recent Toronto flood is yet another example of an increase in severe weather events across the country. As a direct result of climate change these flooding events are occurring more frequently and with greater intensity, with escalating costs to both taxpayers and insurers.” – Kim Donaldson, Vice President Ontario for IBC

It is worth noting insured damage from smaller events since that Aug. 7 pocket storm have not been included in year-so-far figures produced by Catastrophe Indices and Quantification Inc. (CatIQ). In total in 2018 until Aug. 7, Ontario has received severe weather events that have resulted in around $935 million in losses.

A May windstorm was comfortably the biggest event in the provinces this year, causing over $500 million in insured losses. The event became the biggest insurance loss in the province since 2013 floods in Toronto.

Up until that May event, Ontario had already faced the following Catastrophe storms:

  • January – Winter storm damage in Toronto, London and southwestern Ontario of nearly $10 million;
  • February – Water and winter storm damage in southern Ontario of over $40 million;
  • Early April – Wind and rain storm damage in southern Ontario topping $79 million;
  • Mid-April – Winter storm and ice storm in Toronto and southwestern Ontario of over $187 million;