January Storm Caused Over $42 million in Insured Damage in BC

May 28, 2020 (VANCOUVER) – The storm that hit British Columbia (BC) January 31 caused over $42 million in insured damage, according to Catastrophe Indices and Quantification Inc. (CatIQ).*

The relentless rainfall led to flash-flooding, landslides and flooded properties across the Lower Mainland and southern Vancouver Island. There were washouts at the CN Rail in the Fraser Valley and Squamish Valley Road on the Sunshine Coast. Notably, a mudslide damaged 1 km of road and stranded up to 500 people at the Sasquatch Mountain Resort. Strong winds also knocked out power to over 37,000 homes and businesses across the Lower Mainland due to downed trees on power lines.

"This storm is just another example of how devastating Mother Nature can be," said Aaron Sutherland, Vice-President, Pacific, Insurance Bureau of Canada. "Severe, unpredictable weather like this is becoming more frequent, resulting in higher costs to homeowners, insurers and governments," added Sutherland.

Between 1983-2008 insured losses due to severe weather averaged $422 million per year (adjusted for inflation). Since 2009, these losses have averaged nearly $2 billion annually.

As the financial cost of severe weather rises, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is advocating that government increase investment in mitigating the impact of extreme weather and building resilience against its damaging effects. This includes investing in upgraded infrastructure to protect communities from floods and fires, improved building codes, better land-use planning, and incentives to shift the development of homes and businesses away from areas at highest risk of flooding.

Severe weather damage isn't just increasing costs for insurers. For every dollar paid out in insurance claims for damaged homes and businesses, Canadian governments and taxpayers pay out much more to repair public infrastructure damaged by severe weather That's why we all must come together to reduce the financial strain caused by flood events.

Visit IBC's website for information on how to prepare for a disaster.

*CatIQ estimated the amount of insured damage under licence to IBC. For more information on CatIQ, visit www.catiq.com.

​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 128,000 Canadians, pays $9.4 billion in taxes and has a total premium base of $59.6 billion.

For media releases and more information, visit IBC's Media Centre at www.ibc.ca. Follow us on Twitter @IBC_Pacific 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.