Insurance Bureau of Canada Says National Flood Strategy Needed

In a presentation to the Charlottetown Chamber of Commerce on 22 September, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) highlighted the urgent need to increase Canada’s preparedness for natural disasters.

In a speech entitled “Floods, fires and other forces of nature: How to disaster-proof Canada,” Amanda Dean, IBC’s Vice-President, Atlantic, discussed the weather-related risks that are affecting Islanders and all Canadians. She also focused on how insurers and governments can work together to find a solution.

National Flood Strategy

During her speech, Dean emphasized the need for a national flood strategy.

“We’ve seen a rapid increase in severe weather here on the Island, across Canada, and around the world,” said Dean. “While damage caused by severe weather – such as wind, hail and ice storms – is often covered by insurance, there is currently no system in place in Canada to ensure that victims of flooding events are adequately protected.”

IBC is proposing a framework for the financial management of flood risk, with shared responsibilities for the property and casualty (P&C) insurance industry, all levels of government, and consumers. This proposal is based on the notion that private insurers can provide flood insurance for the vast majority of Canadians, with high-risk properties insured through a flood program in which both the insurance industry and government play a role.

Dawson Creek floods, British Columbia, Canada, June 2016. Photo: City of Dawson Creek
Dawson Creek floods, British Columbia, Canada, June 2016. Photo: City of Dawson Creek

Climate Change Issues

Dean complimented the PEI government for its ongoing work to develop a new climate strategy.

“IBC applauds the government for taking a collaborative and thoughtful approach to climate change issues,” noted Dean. “We are particularly pleased to see that equal weight is being given to adaptation and mitigation efforts. The adaptation element of climate change response is occasionally forgotten, but it is an absolutely essential piece of the puzzle.”

Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is the national industry association representing Canada’s private home, auto and business insurers. Its member companies make up 90% of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance market in Canada.

Source: IBC