TORONTO, May 3, 2021 /CNW/ – Severe weather is on the rise across Canada. During a severe weather event, everyone’s priority must be their own safety and the safety of their loved ones and neighbours. With the COVID-19 pandemic still being a major factor across Canada, there is a greater need for Canadians to plan ahead and be prepared.
“Climate change is already causing more frequent and severe weather events across Canada,” said Craig Stewart, Vice-President, Federal Affairs, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC). “Severe hail and wind, flash floods and wildfire can often occur with little warning. This is why it’s so important to be prepared for the worst. IBC is encouraging Canadians to make sure they take necessary measures to protect themselves, their families and their property from the impacts of severe weather.”
As Emergency Preparedness Week begins, IBC offers 10 tips to protect yourself, your home and your business from the effects of severe weather.
- Create an emergency preparedness plan for your family.
- Secure barbecues and secure or store patio furniture indoors when severe weather is in the forecast.
- Park your vehicle in a covered area to prevent damage.
- Stay away from windows, doors and skylights during a storm.
- Do not drive through flooded intersections or large puddles.
- Ensure there is proper grading around your home.
- Update your home inventory and have someone check your property if you are away.
- Install a sump pump, sewer backup or backflow valve.
- Consider using resilient building materials when completing repairs.
- Know your risks and review your insurance policy with an experienced insurance representative.
“Insured losses related to natural catastrophic events have averaged $2 billion per year between 2009 and 2020, compared with an average of $422 million per year in the 1983 to 2008 period. Last year alone, these losses were $2.4 billion. That’s more than a four-fold increase in severe weather events, which are increasingly attributed to climate change,” added Stewart.
Taxpayers and insurers share the cost for severe weather damage. For every dollar paid in insurance claims for damaged homes and businesses, all levels of government and taxpayers pay much more to repair public infrastructure. Yet Canada still lacks a national climate adaptation strategy with measurable targets and the accompanying investments needed to protect Canadian homes and businesses from natural disasters.
Canadians continue to experience accelerating financial losses from the changing climate. In 2020, the federal government created the Task Force on High-Risk Residential Flood Insurance and Strategic Relocation. Through this task force, insurers will work with governments across the country to better protect properties from flooding and to ensure that every Canadian has access to affordable flood insurance. Currently, this is a standalone effort. IBC believes it should be part of a larger climate adaptation plan that coordinates action by governments and the private sector to address the growing physical risks of climate change.
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.
If you have a question about home, auto or business insurance, contact IBC’s Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2ask-IBC.
SOURCE Insurance Bureau of Canada