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Poll shows residents of British Columbia’s Lower Mainland want federal government to prioritize flood protection

Jan 31, 2024 | BC
Poll shows residents of British Columbia’s Lower Mainland want federal government to prioritize flood protection

A new survey of over 800 residents of BC’s Lower Mainland, located in 10 federally contested ridings, found that 59% of those surveyed believe the federal government should do more to prepare for overland flooding. 

Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) commissioned Pollara Strategic Insights to conduct the survey to gauge interest in a high-risk flood protection insurance solution through a partnership of governments and the property and casualty (P&C) insurance industry. The survey results are clear: The majority of British Columbians polled call for the federal government to act on flood protection.

With little or no additional cost to governments, the program would better protect Canadians whose homes are at high risk of flood damage. Through the program, these homeowners would have access to affordable flood coverage rather than rely on limited, unpredictable, taxpayer-funded disaster financial assistance, which can take months or years to arrive. As demonstrated with similar programs in the United Kingdom, United States and in France, this approach to flood recovery is more cost-effective and helps address the financial and emotional toll of flooding disasters on Canadians.

“With recent catastrophic events, such as the record-breaking 2021 BC floods that caused over $675 million in insured damage, insurers are ready to move quickly in partnership with governments to help protect those at highest risk of flood damage,” said Craig Stewart, Vice-President, Climate Change and Federal Issues, IBC. “Now, with another atmospheric river event striking BC’s Lower Mainland this week and more rainfall expected in the coming days, there’s yet another clear reason to move forward with Canada’s National Flood Insurance Program.

“IBC understands why so many BC residents support the National Flood Insurance Program,” adds Stewart. “It’s time for the federal government to act on this cost-effective solution and announce details of the program in the 2024 Federal Budget. The National Flood Insurance Program would help provide protection to over 200,000 households in BC, which has the third highest number of households at high risk of flood damage in Canada. However, the federal government must now lead and meaningfully engage provinces and the insurance industry to implement a national flood insurance program before the next election. Canadian households at highest risk must have access to financial protection against flood damage in a time of rapidly growing climate risk.”

At a glance, the survey found:

  • 74% of those surveyed feel preparing for future flooding events should be a priority for the federal government.

  • 67% of those surveyed support the introduction of a National Flood Insurance Program.

  • 59% of those surveyed believe the federal government should do more to prepare for the possible future occurrence of overland flooding.

For additional results of the survey, visit

“The federal government has the opportunity to do something no other Canadian government has done before – create Canada’s first National Flood Insurance Program and help protect the 1.5 million households across the country at highest risk,” continued Stewart. “Canadians are asking for this program and deserve access to meaningful financial protection against flood damage. The program’s implementation is the single most-important step the government can take today to better protect homeowners from the financial risks of climate change.”

Flooding is Canada’s greatest climate threat and puts millions of people at risk each year. The federal government committed to a national flood insurance program in last year’s federal budget. However, progress on the program has stalled, leaving too many Canadians vulnerable to the financially devastating consequences of flooding.

By funding the National Flood Insurance Program, the federal government can help protect those whose home is at greatest risk of flooding. The solution is available, and insurers are ready to set up, scale and deliver a cost-neutral program for affordable flood insurance.

For more information on the P&C insurance industry’s national flood insurance program proposal, visit

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 the vast majority 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.

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