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Extreme Weather and the Insurance Industry - Flooding

Spring showers bring May flowers - but they can also lead to flooding. The impacts of extreme weather can be great in magnitude and affect the lives and livelihoods of individuals, neighbourhoods or entire communities. Due to the impacts of climate change, flooding has become more and more prevalent worldwide, and has become the most frequent natural hazard in Canada.

Just 2 weeks ago, a community in Manitoba declared a state of emergency due to extreme flooding and evacuated over 400 residents. In November 2016, there was over a $100 million in insured damages due to a 228mm one day rain fall (and that only includes the claims that were insured), and until the 2016 Fort Mac wildfires, the most costly natural catastrophe in insured losses in Canada was the 2013 flooding in Alberta. During these trying times, the insurance industry has played a vital role in helping Canadian navigate the impacts of these ‘forces of nature’, meanwhile constantly evolving and adapting in order to be even more responsive to the needs of their customers.

Up until recently, most home insurance policies in Canada did not cover damages from overland flooding (flooding caused by a body of water overflowing due heavy rainfall, melting snow etc). Coverage wasn’t even available due to such a small percentage of the population being at risk. But, in response to increased frequency and severity of flooding, that’s changing, Aviva launched an overland flooding product in 2015 and other companies like The Co-operators and RSA have followed suit.

When flooding does occur and appropriate coverage is in place, it’s the insurance industry that steps in to help communities restore their losses and start rebuilding. Loss adjusters (hyperlink to career profile) play a vital role in supporting those who have suffered a loss not only by ensuring they receive all of the coverage they are entitled to and arranging for interim solutions such as accommodations, car rentals etc, but also lend support to those who are going through a difficult time.

So you can see why Insurance can be considered a helping profession. The industry as a whole must respond to these events not only by developing products to serve their clients but also by being on the ground to provide assistance and support to its consumers when they need it the most.

Listen to Claims Manager, Steven Scullion talk about the role he played during the Peterborough floods.