Windsor floods to cost insurers over $124 million says IBC

Published: September 25, 2017

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones

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In late August, Windows, Ontario was hit by significant floods where 200 millimeters of rain fell in less than 24 hours. The Insurance Bureau of Canada suggested on Monday that the insurance losses for the industry will top $124 million.

“From August 28 – 29, a slow-moving area of low pressure produced significant rainfall over areas of southwestern Ontario,” IBC stated in a release. “These rains, up to 290mm in some areas, brought major flooding to Windsor, Tecumseh, and other parts of Essex County.”

Citing Catastrophe Indices and Quantification Inc. (CatIQ), IBC said Monday that the event “resulted in more than $124 million in insured damage.”

“The Windsor Airport broke a rainfall record, receiving 100mm of rain in a short period of time,” IBC stated. “Over 1,000 basements were reported flooded and water levels were waist-high in some areas.”

IBC was participating in a Question Period in the Ontario legislature. Last week, there were questions raised about the flood programs in Ontario, which do not cover sewer backup. Many of the flood cases in Windsor were sewer backups.

“The current Disaster Recovery Assistance for Ontarians program allows residents to claim financial aid from the government. The program covers homeowners, tenants, farmers, small organizations, and not-for-profit groups, allowing them to cover the costs of repairs after a natural disaster.

However, it is not a full coverage package and customers are still expected to have private insurance coverage to protect property.

The Windsor area is serving to highlight why the Disaster Recovery Assistance for Ontarians program is not a complete answer. A rain storm on Aug. 29 resulted in over 200 millimetres of rain landing in less than 24 hours.

Lisa Gretzky, NDP MPP for Windows West, says sewer backup was the cause of the flooding, so customers were not protected by government programs:

“Unfortunately, under the disaster recovery assistance program through the province, they will not be covered to have any of their belongings replaced, and their private insurance either will not cover it or they had their private insurance taken away from them after the last flood,” Gretzky added.

“People in Windsor are angry and disappointed with the government’s response to the recent flooding disaster,” Hatfield – MPP for Windsor-Tecumseh – said Sept. 21.”