Flooding and other natural calamities exacerbated by climate change are making Canadian homes uninsurable, according to a report by The Weather Network.
Four million Canadians in areas impacted by severe flooding, and up to 10% of all homes in Canada currently or will soon be facing the problem of uninsurability.
According to the Canadian Institute for Climate Choices, many Canadians have purchased homes and built infrastructure in areas prone to floods, wildfires, and other natural catastrophes. They now face high insurance costs or the possibility of not getting claims after a disaster.
In recent months, provinces such as Ottawa and Halifax have experienced intense rainfall and flooding. Alberta and British Columbia also saw flash flooding worsened by the lack of trees and vegetation razed by wildfires.
According to Blair Feltmate, the head of the Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation at the University of Waterloo, extreme weather events are only expected to worsen.
“There’s the need to act with a strong sense of urgency to put adaptation measures in place to protect cities, down to individual properties, to protect them from growing flood risk,” said Feltmate.
The federal government plans to implement a flood insurance program available to property owners in April 2025.
“We know it can’t come quick enough,” said Craig Stewart, vice president of climate change and federal issues for the Insurance Bureau of Canada.
The flood insurance program would allow residents in flood-prone areas to have their premiums covered by a Crown corporation with the support of private insurance companies.
Additionally, the government has allocated $15.3 million towards creating an online portal where property owners can learn about their exposure to floods.