October Floods in Atlantic Canada Cost $100M-Plus in Insured Damage

November 21, 2016

A tropical moisture system resulting from Hurricane Matthew swept through Atlantic Canada last month, resulting in more than $100 million in insured damage, according to Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), which quoted a report from Catastrophe Indices and Quantification Inc. (CatIQ).

A cold front interacting with Matthew’s tropical moisture resulted in a low-pressure system that quickly intensified and brought hurricane strength winds and intense rainfall to parts of Atlantic Canada, said IBC.

The storm stalled as it passed over Nova Scotia and caused significant flooding on Cape Breton Island. Sydney, NS received close to 225mm (8.9 inches) of rain in one day, which shattered the city’s previous single day record of 129mm (5.1 inches).

“This storm was one of the most devastating we have seen in recent memory,” said Amanda Dean, vice president, Atlantic, IBC. “The flooding caused by this system was a sobering reminder of the power of Mother Nature and the impacts that severe weather can have on our communities. All residents in Atlantic Canada should take this opportunity to review their insurance policies, talk to their insurance representatives to see what products are available, and make sure they’re adequately covered for when bad weather strikes.”

Flooding and related sewer backup damage is costly for homeowners, businesses, municipalities and insurance companies, the IBC said. From ensuring that important documents are not stored in your basement to installing a sump pump, the IBC recommended proactive steps to take such as:

  • Keep a current and detailed home inventory.
  • If your neighborhood is prone to flooding, take precautions throughout your house and property.
  • Assemble a disaster safety kit.
  • Create an emergency preparedness plan for your family, covering at least 72 hours.

“Canada is the only G7 country without a national strategy to deal with overland flooding,” added Dean. “The Atlantic floods demonstrated that, despite new overland flood insurance coverage being increasingly available to homeowners, there is a need for coordinated action. More remains to be done and all stakeholders have a role to play.”

About IBC and CatIQ

IBC is the national industry association representing Canada’s private home, auto and business insurers. Its member companies make up 90 percent of the property and casualty insurance market in Canada. CatIQ delivers analytical and meteorological information on Canadian natural and man-made catastrophes.

Source: Insurance Bureau of Canada

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