Insurance Bureau of Canada Statement: Speech from the Throne

November 23, 2021 (OTTAWA): Today, the federal government's Speech from the Throne committed to strengthening action to prevent and prepare for floods, wildfires, droughts, and other extreme weather worsened by climate change by developing Canada's first National Adaptation Strategy. 

Following the speech, Craig Stewart, Vice-President, Federal Affairs, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), issued the following statement: 

"Today's federal government announcement of the development of Canada's first-ever National Adaptation Strategy is extremely timely and critical – Canada needs to accelerate work on climate defence. In southern British Columbia, residents are dealing with major flooding, only months after battling wildfires. Yet again this year, Calgary was hit with a severe hailstorm. In Atlantic Canada, many are without power today following heavy rains and winds from another severe storm.  

"Climate change is real, and the emotional turmoil and financial consequences need to be a call to action – we must adapt now. Any acceptable climate plan must aim to reduce emissions to limit our future risks from climate change, but we need action now to protect us from the worsening severe weather that is already happening. In other words, adaptation is vital and must feature in any national climate plan. 

"A National Adaptation Strategy that sets clear targets and performance measures is a foundational step in protecting Canadians from the flood, wildfire, heat, wind, and hail events already growing in frequency and severity. 

"In today's world of extreme weather events, the new normal for yearly insured catastrophic losses in Canada has become $2 billion – most of this due to water-related damage. Between 1983 to 2008, Canadian insurers averaged about $422 million a year in severe weather-related losses."  

The insurance industry has been advocating for action on flooding for years. Four years ago this week, IBC and CEOs from various insurance companies met with then-Minister Ralph Goodale, officials from provinces and territories, and national Indigenous organizations in Regina to call for a National Action Plan on Flooding that includes a high-risk insurance pool.  

IBC's advocacy on its National Action Plan on Flooding resulted in the federal government establishing the Task Force on Flood Insurance and Relocation in late 2020. The Task Force commenced its work in January 2021 and will submit its final report by spring 2022. 

IBC is leading the national coalition Climate Proof Canada, which is advocating for adaptation as part of the national climate plan. The insurance industry has dedicated funding for, and supported the development of, the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction and the Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation. In the absence of reliable flood maps, the insurance industry funded Canada's first national flood model. In addition, IBC is engaging with senior Government of Canada officials about rebalancing disaster assistance and insurance to improve consumer outcomes.

About Insurance Bureau of Canada

Insurance Bureau of Canada 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. 

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