New research from the University of Waterloo has revealed that insurance claims from weather-related problems such as flooding have more than quadrupled over the last 10 years – even after taking the increase in real estate prices into consideration.
The same study, which came from the university’s climate adaptation centre, also discovered that the number of homes that are uninsurable for flood risk is also rising. About 1.7 million households – representing 20% of Canada’s population – are at risk of flooding.
In addition, researchers found that less than 10% of eligible homeowners are taking advantage of municipal flood-proofing grants.
As the risk of flooding grows, along with the number of people potentially affected, so does the cost to repair and recover after the disaster – making it much more difficult for homeowners to secure adequate protection against the risk. The Canadian Press reported that the average cost to homeowners for flood damage in the Greater Toronto Area currently sits at around $43,000.
“Increasingly, people cannot get insurance for their homes because they have experienced one or more floods or they live in an area that’s designated high-risk and the premiums that the insurers would have to charge are off the charts,” said David Feltmate, who co-authored the study.