Fire Fighting in Canada

Uncategorized Emergency Management
Alberta, Prairies summer storms cause over $300M in insured losses: IBC

September 22, 2023 
By Insurance Bureau of Canada,


Several storms that hit Alberta and the Prairies over the past few months resulted in over $300 million in insured losses, according to initial estimates from Catastrophe Indices and Quantification Inc. (CatIQ). Of the more than $300 million in insured losses, over $90 million – or 30 per cent – went toward replacing or repairing storm-damaged vehicles in Alberta. Since 2020, insured losses to vehicles in Alberta from severe weather exceeds $500 million.

“Unfortunately, residents in Alberta and across the Prairies experienced another summer of extreme weather events that damaged or destroyed homes, vehicles and businesses,” said Aaron Sutherland, vice-president, Pacific and Western, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC). “This is the third straight summer in which Alberta has seen significant insured damage from hail, wind and rain. The trend is clear, and it’s important that consumers work with their insurance representative to ensure they have the right coverage to protect their property or business from the impacts of these storms.”

The frequency and severity of extreme weather events continues to put pressure on insurance premiums across the country. The increasing insured losses from these events are particularly straining Alberta’s auto insurance market, given the provincial rate pause.

The more than $300 million in insured losses this year are due to severe weather that resulted in damage from wind, rain and hail. This total does not include insured losses from the ongoing wildfires.

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The following storms have been designated “catastrophes,” which CatIQ defines as severe weather events with insured damage estimates that total more than $30 million.

Central Alberta Flooding
June 18–20, 2023 – Over $40 million in insured damage

Heavy rainfall led to extensive flooding across parts of Alberta between June 18 and 20, resulting in authorities declaring a state of emergency in some communities. In Edmonton, the total rainfall during these three days exceeded the entire monthly average for June. Edson, Whitecourt and Edmonton were among the communities hit the hardest, with the rainfall flooding basements and damaging property.

Alberta and Saskatchewan Canada Day storms
July 1, 2023 – Over $100 million in insured damage

On Canada Day, severe storms across central Alberta and Saskatchewan caused significant damage. Near Didsbury, Alberta, one storm produced an EF-4 tornado. The tornado completely destroyed three homes, rendered another four uninhabitable and damaged an additional five. Following the tornado, storms with powerful wind gusts brought down trees and damaged structures in Saskatchewan.

Calgary hailstorm
July 15, 2023 – Over $110 million in insured damage

A strong thunderstorm moved through Calgary on July 15, resulting in large hail falling on neighbourhoods in the city’s south centre. Hail damaged the siding and roofs on homes, dented vehicles and broke a glass ceiling at the Chinook mall. Water pooled on roads and underpasses briefly making some streets inaccessible.

Prairie severe storms
July 24–26, 2023 – Over $40 million in insured damage

Rounds of thunderstorms caused damage in Alberta and Manitoba in late July. The storms produced grapefruit-sized hail, flooded gutters and drains, and caused violent winds, including at least three confirmed tornadoes. The hail dented vehicles and cracked windshields; the rain flooded roads and basements; and the strong gusts of wind damaged roofs and power lines, and downed trees.

The amount of insured damage is an estimate provided by CatIQ (www.CatIQ.com) under licence to IBC.


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