The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) reports that a tropical moisture system resulting from Hurricane Matthew that swept through Atlantic Canada last month resulted in over $100 million in insured damage according to 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. Most damage was reported to have occurred in Nova Scotia. The storm stalled as it passed over that province and caused significant flooding on Cape Breton Island.
Sydney, Nova Scotia, received close to 228mm of rain in a single day. This shattered the city’s previous single day record of 129mm.
“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.”
IBC point out that flooding and related sewer backup damage is costly for homeowners, businesses, municipalities and insurance companies. From ensuring that important documents are not stored in your basement to installing a sump pump, there are many ways to be proactive such as:
- Keep a current and detailed home inventory
- If your neighbourhood 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.”
IBC and Canada’s property and casualty insurers will continue educating consumers about coverage options, and working with federal and provincial government officials to ensure every Canadian has access to adequate financial protection. Addressing these gaps in public policy and consumer protection can only be possible if industry and government work together to implement a national flood program.
Source: Insurance Bureau of Canada