The recent storm caused a lot of damage to electrical infrastructure in both Quebec and Ontario.
Severe thunderstorms that swept across Ontario and Quebec on May 21 caused insured damage of more than $875 million, according to initial estimates from Catastrophe Indices and Quantification (CatIQ) released Wednesday.
This amount ranks the storm – also known as derecho – as the sixth costliest claim in Canada in terms of insured damage. In particular, it exceeds the floods in British Columbia last year.
Insured damages in Ontario are estimated at $720 million. In Quebec, they would amount to $155 million.
Breakage caused by wind is generally covered by home or business insurance policies, or by auto insurance policies without collision or upset, says the Bureau of Insurance of Canada (BAC) in a press release.
It was the wind that caused most of the property damage, it is added, even if it there were also heavy rains and hail.
As this was essentially an insurable event, insurers were there from day one, working hard to help their customers through the claims process. They will be present until all the claims of their policyholders have been processed, says Kim Donaldson, vice-president, Ontario, of the BAC.
The storm front, which mainly affected the Outaouais, the Laurentians, Lanaudière, Mauricie and the Capitale-Nationale in Quebec, caused the death of at least 11 people in Ontario and Quebec as well as thousands power outages for several days.
As 8 of Canada's 10 costliest natural disasters have occurred since 2011, IBC says it wants a national adaptation strategy that will translate into concrete, short-term actions that will enhance Canada's climate defense.
The ranking of the May storm as the sixth highest insured loss in Canada is a sad reminder of the growing risk climate change poses to communities across the country, IBC wrote in a statement.
In addition, IBC is calling for inexpensive, yet effective changes to national and provincial building codes.
The IBC mentions in particular the importance of investing in infrastructure to reduce the impact of floods and fires on Canadians and to improve land use planning.
Homes and businesses should be outside of the highest risk areas, it added.
The most expensive natural disaster in terms of claims settlement remains the Fort McMurray fires in 2016 ($4 billion), followed by the ice storm in the #x27;east of the country in 1998 ($2.3 billion), according to CatIQ data.