Prairies Weather Insured Losses Push Canada-Wide Losses to Over $1.4 Billion in 2018

Published: September 13, 2018

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Insurance companies continue to be burdened by storms that have struck the Prairie provinces throughout the summer. In a press release, the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) says customers and tax payers have also been affected by the weather.

Storm events in Alberta and Saskatchewan during July and August caused more than $240 million in insured damages. IBC notes insurers have paid out claims for homes, vehicles, and businesses. Weather events across Canada as a whole have accounted for $1.4 billion in insurance losses during 2018.

Earlier this month, the IBC said storms in the Prairies had cost $200 million, but a revised account of July weather events have increased the bill by $40 million.

Alberta and Saskatchewan were hit by major storm systems during mid-July. In Alberta, hail damaged vehicles while heavy rains and intense winds damaged properties in Saskatchewan. The insured damages from this event stands at $30 million.

“Costs from severe weather events in the Prairies and across the country have been increasing. Insured losses is only part of the picture, taxpayers also foot the bill. We all have a role to play in adapting to the changing climate. We need to look at increased access to flood maps so that consumers understand their risk, better land use planning and updated building codes."

 – Celyeste Power, Vice-President, Western, IBC (Acting)

 Since May 2017, the Prairies have been affected by several cat events totalling $500 million in insured damage:

  • May 2017: Wind, water and flood damage near Lacombe, Alberta, resulted in $68 million in insured damage.
  • June 2017: A hail storm in Saskatchewan caused more than $46 million in insured damage.
  • July 2017: Wind and water damage in in Yorkton and Melville, Saskatchewan, and in parts of Alberta resulted in over $50 million in insured damage.
  • October 2017: A windstorm in Dauphin and Winnipeg, Manitoba, and parts of Alberta caused over $100 million in insured damage.
  • June 2018: Wind, rain and hail in Saskatchewan and Manitoba resulted in $90 million in insured damage.
  • July 2018: Severe thunderstorms in central Alberta caused $120 million in insured damage. 

Earlier this week, the Insurance Bureau of Canada released data on insured losses caused by weather events in Ontario. The province has faced nearly $1 billion in insured losses year-to-date.