Canada's insured catastrophe losses set a dangerous "new normal" - report

It was one of the top five loss years of all time

Canada's insured catastrophe losses set a dangerous "new normal" - report

Catastrophe & Flood

By Lyle Adriano

The year 2021 saw Canada’s catastrophic losses rise to over $2 billion, setting a dangerous “new normal” for the country’s insured losses, a recent report from Catastrophe Indices and Quantification Inc. (CatIQ) found.

Specifically, Canada’s catastrophe losses last year sits at $2.04 billion, putting 2021 in the top five loss years of all time. Last year also saw 14 events that incurred at least $25 million in insured losses, tying it in second place for the number of catastrophes reported in a year, the report said.

CatIQ also noted that Western Canada sustained most of the catastrophe losses last year, with fires, windstorms, and record-breaking flooding hitting BC and the Prairies.

A previous analysis by CatIQ found that the flooding event that occurred mid-November in BC caused an estimated $450 million in insured damage – the costliest weather event in BC’s history.

“Climate-related catastrophes in Canada are increasing in frequency and severity and impacting our communities like never before,” said The Co-operators EVP and chief operating officer, P&C manufacturing Lisa Guglietti. “As an industry, we must collaborate across sectors to develop real action and proactive solutions that protect the financial security of Canadians, by focusing on preventing losses, increasing risk awareness, and investing in solutions and infrastructure that will help build long-term community resiliency.”

CatIQ’s findings come after another report by Munich Re said that global catastrophe losses in 2021 were substantially higher than in the previous two years. In that report, it was noted that 2021 saw US$280 billion in assets destroyed by extreme weather – a significant increase from US$210 billion in 2020 and US$166 billion in 2019.

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