In a landmark move that sets the stage for Canada’s first national flood insurance program, the federal government has announced the release of a flood risk report which would inform policymakers on the creation of such a national insurance system.
The report, entitled “Adapting to Rising Flood Risk: An Analysis of Insurance solutions for Canada,” comes from the interdisciplinary Task Force on Flood Insurance and Relocation, which was appointed by President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Emergency Preparedness Bill Blair. It offers evidence and information to help decision-making on the matter while outlining special consideration for “potential strategic relocation of those at most risk.”
According to the Government of Canada, the report is “a valuable first step toward the common goal of reducing the impact of flooding for all Canadians,” with the report making considerable progress on flood modelling, and actuarial analysis. The government also revealed in a release that it is reviewing the report to inform its next steps on the creation of a national flood insurance program.
The government confirmed in a release that it is working on the Flood Hazard Identification and Mapping Program and a flood risk portal, to make flood risk information more accessible to the public.
The report’s publication and the government’s commitment to the creation of a national flood insurance program have been met with industry support.
"The Government of Canada now has the fundamental research necessary to inform a national flood insurance program through a public-private partnership," said Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) vice president of climate change and federal issues Craig Stewart. "We thank Minister Blair for his ongoing leadership and engagement with our industry on this important file. The insurance industry has been, and continues to be, on the front line of this issue, addressing the overwhelming financial risk to Canadians from the devastating impacts of flooding and climate change.”
Stewart added that insurers across Canada “are in the best position to support the government and homeowners with the best possible public-private insurance program,” and that they are fully prepared to maintain such a system.
Another report from global engineering and architecture services firm GHD found that floods, along with droughts and major storms, will cost the Canadian economy $139 billion over the next 30 years.