A year after one of the costliest storms in Canada's history, the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) has reflected on the recovery after Hurricane Fiona.
Graham Little, interim vice president for the Atlantic region at IBC, said the storm's impact is still felt today and acknowledged customers' frustrations over claims delays and recovery timelines.
Fiona caused millions of dollars’ worth of insured and uninsured damage across Atlantic Canada.
“Since Hurricane Fiona first made landfall in September 2022, Canada’s insurers have been working diligently to sort out and settle claims. The industry acknowledges and sympathizes with the frustrations some residents are still experiencing with recovery timelines in the aftermath of Hurricane Fiona," Little said in a post on the IBC's website.
"After a large-scale disaster like this, it is not uncommon for a full replacement to take 18 months or more. The more structural damage a property has suffered, the more difficult repairs or replacement will be and the higher the costs will be."
Hurricane Fiona caused homes along the coast to be washed into the ocean and submerged properties in floodwater. Winds tore roofs, trees, and power lines.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted that this year's Atlantic hurricane season could be one of the worst on record. While the recent Hurricane Lee did not leave any widespread damage, people by flash floods in July and wildfires in May face a difficult recovery.
Delays in claims – what can policyholders do?
Typically, after large-scale disasters such as the onslaught of Hurricane Fiona, it can take more than 18 months for people to get a total replacement because the more damage a property has taken, the more difficult it will be to repair or replace.
Little advised policyholders facing claims to reach out to their insurance representatives. He also said that policyholders can utilize licensed insurers' internal dispute resolution process.
He recommended the following actions to those who had complaints about their open claim: