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BC Storms Cause $37 Million in Insured Damage



January 16, 2019 (VANCOUVER) –The cost of insured losses due to extreme weather in British Columbia (BC) and across the country continues to rise. Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) reports that the windstorms that battered the southern coast of BC on December 20 caused over $37 million in insured damage to homes, businesses and vehicles. This event has pushed the total insured damage from extreme weather in Canada to $1.9 billion for 2018.

As the financial cost of a changing climate rises, IBC is working closely with governments at all levels to advocate for increased investment to mitigate the future impacts of extreme weather and build resiliency to its damaging effects. This includes investment in new infrastructure to protect communities from floods and fires, improved building codes, better land-use planning and, increasingly, creating incentives to shift the development of homes and businesses away from areas of highest risk.

December’s storm damaged over 3,000 homes across southwestern BC and left over 750,000 BC Hydro customers without power. It downed large trees and hydro poles across Vancouver Island, the southern Gulf Islands, the Sunshine Coast and the Lower Mainland. In White Rock, the winds caused boats to damage the pier. Due to strong winds and flooding, a state of emergency was declared for Tseshaht First Nation.

IBC reminds consumers to be insurance aware. Know what your policy covers before severe weather hits. Ask your insurance representative about what coverage is included or what you need to add on, such as overland flooding coverage. Consumers who have questions can also call IBC’s Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2ask-IBC. 

Visit IBC’s website for information on how to prepare for a disaster and home flooding mitigation techniques.

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“The financial costs of climate change are increasing rapidly. Last month’s storm events are the latest example of the need to improve our resilience to climate change and adapt to the new weather reality we face,” said Aaron Sutherland, Vice-President, Pacific, IBC.


About Insurance Bureau of Canada

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. For more than 50 years, IBC has worked with governments across the country to help make affordable home, auto and business insurance available for all Canadians. IBC supports the vision of consumers and governments trusting, valuing and supporting the private P&C insurance industry. It champions key issues and helps educate consumers on how best to protect their homes, cars, businesses and properties.

P&C insurance touches the lives of nearly every Canadian and plays a critical role in keeping businesses safe and the Canadian economy strong. It employs more than 126,000 Canadians, pays $9 billion in taxes and has a total premium base of $54.7 billion.

For media releases and more information, visit IBC's Media Centre at www.ibc.ca. Follow IBC on Twitter @InsuranceBureau and @IBC_West or like us on Facebook. If you have a question about home, auto or business insurance, contact IBC's Consumer Information Centre at 1‑844‑2ask-IBC.