IBC reveals how much severe weather cost Canada in insured damages

Last year saw an "unprecedented" number of catastrophes

IBC reveals how much severe weather cost Canada in insured damages

Catastrophe & Flood

By Lyle Adriano

A new release from the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) has explored why 2022 ranks as the third worst year for insured losses in Canadian history, noting that severe weather last year led to $3.1 billion in insured damage.

IBC said that while the $3.1 billion figure is alarming, no single catastrophic event or region accounted for most of the losses. By comparison, 2016 – the highest loss year on record – had the Fort McMurray wildfire which accounted for 75% of national losses that year.

The most noteworthy severe weather events last year included Hurricane Fiona, the Ontario and Quebec derecho, the Eastern Canada late-winter storm, the Western Canada summer storms and the Eastern Canada bomb cyclone.

Citing data from CatIQ, IBC gave the following breakdown of last year’s $3.1 billion total insured damage:


Catastrophe event

Insured losses

February 17–19

Eastern Canada late-winter storm

$140 million

April 22–25

Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario flooding

$60 million

May 21

Ontario and Quebec derecho

$1 billion

June 16–17

Ontario and Quebec severe storms

$50 million


Western Canada summer storms

$300 million

September 23–24

Hurricane Fiona

$800 million

December 22–26

Eastern Canada bomb cyclone

$180 million

December 23–27

BC winter storm and king tide

$80 million


“There was an unprecedented number of catastrophes in 2022, including now two of the top 10 events in Canadian history,” said CatIQ president and CEO Laura Twidle in CatIQ’s release of the catastrophe data. “As our exposure and severe weather frequency increase, we all must come together to find unique solutions to mitigate the impacts to extreme events.”

“Canada is increasingly a riskier place to live, work and insure,” said IBC vice president of climate change and federal issues Craig Stewart.

Stewart added that this spring, the federal government needs to lead the way in finalizing a National Adaptation Strategy while funding community-level infrastructure and property-level retrofits that increase disaster resilience.

“In particular, we’re seeing early signs that property insurance may become less affordable or even unavailable as global reinsurers shift capacity away from riskier countries,” Stewart stated. “Now is the time for Canadian insurers and governments to partner on a National Flood Insurance Program to ensure Canadian homeowners remain financially resilient in the face of these growing number and severity of events.”

Storms and flooding are not the only disasters Canadians should be preparing for. In a recent interview, IBC vice president of Western and Pacific and BC Earthquake Alliance vice president Aaron Sutherland mentioned that “we can’t overlook the ongoing risk of a major earthquake – and we must prepare accordingly, both physically and financially.” The vice president also warned that BC is the most seismically active province in Canada.

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