Ice and floods: 2023 will be the most expensive year for insurers since 1998

Between ice, wildfires and even floods, the weather will have all its colors on Quebecers in 2023, and insurers are paying the price with $680 million in insured losses.

This is also the most expensive year for insurers in Quebec since the ice crisis in 1998, stressed the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), which released its year-end report on Thursday.

“Citizens, government and the insurance industry have been tested this year,” noted Pierre Babinsky, director of communications and public affairs at the BAC.

Not surprisingly, the ice storm that hit southern and eastern Quebec on April 5 cost insurers the most, $213 million, according to BAC data.

The wind, rain and lightning that hit the province on July 13 was worth $200 million. By comparison, the wildfires that burned acres of forest in the province throughout the summer cost insurance companies $22 million.

Facing the challenges of climate change

After this eventful year, the BAC emphasized the importance of raising awareness of climate risks, but above all of making significant investments in measures to mitigate these risks.

In this sense, the BAC welcomed certain initiatives already taken, such as the “sponge” parks and sidewalks in Montreal, the additional amounts granted by Quebec to help cities adapt to climate change or the federal flood insurance program.

“These are important steps to improve our climate resilience,” said Babinsky.

Insured costs per event in 2023

Wind, Rain (February 3-5): $66 million

Black Ice (April 5): $213 million

Wildfires (summer): $22 million

Wind, Rain, Hail, Lightning (June 25-26): $15 million

Flood, rain (July 10-12): $36 million

Wind, Rain, Lightning (July 13): $200 million

Wind, flood, hail, water (July 20-21): $60 million

Wind, Hail, Rain (July 29): $19 million

Hail, Wind, Rain, Flood (August 3): $8 million

Floods (October 8): $41 million

Source: Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC)

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