A series of storms that hit Alberta and the Prairies over the past few months caused over $300 million in insured losses, according to initial estimates released by the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC).
More than $90 million, or 30%, of the estimated total went to replacing or repairing storm-damaged vehicles in Alberta, IBC said, citing data from Catastrophe Indices and Quantification Inc. (CatIQ).
This marks the third consecutive summer in which Alberta has seen significant insured damage from hail, wind, and rain, with insured losses to vehicles already exceeding $500 million since 2020.
“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,” said Aaron Sutherland, IBC’s Pacific and Western vice president.
The following storms have been designated as catastrophes by CatIQ, defined as severe weather events with insured damage estimates exceeding $30 million:
The escalating frequency and severity of extreme weather events have placed immense pressure on insurance costs across the country. This strain is particularly evident in Alberta’s auto insurance market, given the provincial rate freeze.
The finance ministry of Alberta announced back in July that an insurance company will be withdrawing from Alberta later this year, impacting some 16,000 drivers in the province.
The company had cited the rate freeze as the reason for its pullout, which caused finance minister Nate Horner to acknowledge that the freeze is only a short-term solution for Alberta’s rising premiums.
“We know the pause is doing, what caps and pauses do. It’s preventing an uptick in rates,” said Horner via the Calgary Herald. “But I would say that it’s something that we can’t leave on forever. It was meant to be a short-term affordability measure, right at the peak of the affordability crisis.”
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