A Canadian expert has issued a warning about a type of devastating whiplash that has nothing to do with car accidents.
While most brokers are already aware that extreme weather is on the rise, a top climatologist with Environment Canada has issued a warning over the domino effect that these changing conditions can set off.
In what he calls “weather whiplash,” David Phillips believes that extreme weather can shift suddenly between the seasons, causing one type of disaster to immediately follow another, such as a long drought preceded by floods, according to CBC News
Brokers confirm that they’ve witnessed weather whiplash occurring in Canada, and feel that the industry is unprepared for the ensuing devastation.
“The industry understands that water is the biggest threat right now, but when you have extremes swing from one type to another, the biggest threat becomes the lack of education, especially among the broker community,” said Sherif Gemayel, president, Sharp Insurance.
Germayel, who says he’s “definitely seen a rise in claims in recent years,” feels that the biggest knowledge gaps involve insurance professionals’ lack of awareness about these weather patterns, as well as how to deal with their aftermath.
“It’s changing so fast, and the industry is having a hard time catching up and remaining well-informed,” he said.
While the Federation of Canadian Municipalities has called for an additional $1.5 billion in infrastructure spending to protect against dramatic climate change, the economic landscape makes a significant investment unlikely.
In addition, Germayel acknowledges that premiums are bound to rise, which will inevitably “create more frustration for clients.” As a result, he encourages brokerage owners around the country to invest in educating their employees about risk assessment and mitigation, which they can then pass onto policyholders.