THE WEATHER IS CHANGING
Climate change is an important environmental issue that has been attributed to human activities, including the release of carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases, as well as natural processes. Click here to find out more.
Climate change is reflected in the rising frequency and severity of extreme weather events such as floods, storms and droughts since warmer temperatures tend to produce more violent weather patterns.
Rare extreme precipitation events are currently projected to become about twice as frequent by mid-century over most of Canada1.
Catastrophes are defined as natural disasters that cause at least $25 million USD in insurance claims2. According to Swiss Re, in 2014, there were 336 disaster events worldwide. Of these, 189 were natural catastrophes, the highest ever recorded.
HOW WEATHER AFFECTS INSURANCE
Because of their impact on business, home and car insurance, weather patterns are forcing the insurance industry to evolve products, policies and what you pay to address new risks. You should talk with your broker about the risks in your area associated with changes in weather to make sure the people and things you care about are protected.
1. Source: Warren, F.J. and Lemmen, D.S. (2014): Synthesis; in Canada in a Changing Climate: Sector Perspectives on Impacts and Adaptation, (ed.) F.J. Warren and D.S. Lemmen; Government of Canada, Ottawa, ON, p. 9.
2. Source: The Property Claim Services (PCS) division of Verisk Analytics
1. Source: MunichRe March 3, 2015.
2. Source: Warren, F.J. and Lemmen, D.S. (2014): Synthesis; in Canada in a Changing Climate: Sector Perspectives on Impacts and Adaptation, (ed.) F.J. Warren and D.S. Lemmen; Government of Canada, Ottawa, ON, p. 9.
3. Source: IBC Facts 2015 NB
4. Source: IBC Facts 2015 BC
Payouts from extreme weather have more than doubled every five to 10 years since the 1980s. For each of the past six years, they have been near or above $1 billion in Canada. In 2012, losses hit $1.2 billion. And in 2013, losses were a historic $3.2 billion, due to floods in Alberta and Ontario. In 2014, losses again approached $1 billion. By comparison, insured losses averaged $400 million a year over the 25-year period from 1983 to 20081.
- Southern Alberta floods and heavy rains ($1.7 billion) 3
- GTA heavy rains ($944million) 4
In 2012 2
- Ontario and Quebec remnants of Superstorm Sandy ($106 million)
- Hamilton and Ottawa heavy rains and winds ($90 million)
- Ontario and Quebec winds and flooding ($260 million)
- Edmonton heavy rains, thunderstorms and winds ($106 million)
- Calgary area flooding, hail, windstorm ($552 million)
- Southern Alberta wind and thunderstorms ( $74 million)
- Slave Lake fire ($750 million)
- Alberta tornado ($200 million)
- Goderich, Ontario tornado ($100 million
- Calgary windstorm ($225 million)
- Remnants of Hurricane Irene windstorms and thunderstorms ($239 million)
Around the globe the frequency and severity of catastrophic events is increasing dramatically.
During the first half of 20131, the total economic losses from disasters was US $ 56 billion, with insured losses from natural catastrophes totaling US $17 billion, with flooding being the main cause.
- Floods in central and eastern Europe (US $18 billion in economic loss)
- Thunderstorms and tornadoes in the U.S (US $3.1 billion in economic loss)
- Thunderstorms, tornadoes and hail in the U.S. (US $2.0 billion in economic loss)
- Snowstorm, ice, tornadoes and heavy rains in the U.S (US S1.6 billion in economic loss)
- Floods in Australia (US $2.0 billion in economic loss)
1. Source: Swiss Re Media Release Aug 21, 2013 “Catastrophes cost global insurance industry more than USD 20 billion”