Two years after Fort McMurray wildfire, only 20% of homes rebuilt

Many homeowners continue to have issues with their insurance

Two years after Fort McMurray wildfire, only 20% of homes rebuilt

Catastrophe & Flood

By Lyle Adriano

It has been two years since a devastating wildfire caused billions of damages in Fort McMurray - and not all homeowners have yet had the opportunity to rebuild their damaged homes.

Global News reported that of the 2,579 homes destroyed by the Fort McMurray wildfire, only 20% have been rebuilt in the two years since the fires. About half of those homes are still in various stages of reconstruction.

“We’re still going to see another two to three years before everybody should be back in their homes,” said Wood Buffalo mayor Don Scott, who added he was disappointed by the slow pace of reconstruction.

“I’m never fully satisfied with where we’re at,” the mayor said. “I always want to see everybody back in their houses. A lot of that is out of municipal control. People are still dealing with insurance companies. They’re dealing with contractors.”

Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) spokesperson Rob de Pruis revealed that the wildfire prompted about 60,000 insurance claims from the region. With $3.8 billion in insurable losses, it’s Canada’s costliest insured disaster to date. According to de Pruis, 95% of those claims have been settled as of May 3, 2018 – the rest are complex and will take time to resolve.

“Substantial progress has begun. We have seen thousands of homes that have started, but there’s not as many completed as we would have liked to have seen,” de Pruis said.

“They should be settled by now,” commented Scott. “This was an opportunity for insurance companies not to act like insurance companies and really show spirit and try to help people. I’ve met a lot of people who are going through real struggles with insurance companies.”


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