The flooding in southern Alberta and the Calgary area may be among the most expensive natural disasters in the province.
Residents and businesses in the Canadian province of Alberta are just starting to assess the damage from what is being called one of the worst natural disasters in the history of the area, and flood insurance companies are preparing for the massive influx of claims that are now on the way.
The flooding that has been experienced in the region is entirely unprecedented, leaving insurers scrambling.
It has been estimated that there have been one hundred thousand people displaced during the evacuations because of the bursting of the banks of the Bow and Elbow rivers. Both of these bodies of water work their way through Calgary forced the downtown core to evacuate. Now, as the torrents of water have made their way through, the damage is beginning to be assessed for homes, businesses, vehicles, and other forms of property.
The flood insurance claims could raise to the level of hundreds of millions of dollars before all is said and done.
That said, flood insurance industry experts have said that it remains far too early to put forward an actual dollar figure estimate. However, some have already suggested that they are expecting that this event will be two to three times – at least – bigger than the flooding that Calgary experienced in 2005. At that time, the insured losses were $275 million, according to Environment Canada.
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The industry, including the flood insurance sector, has been watching Alberta over the last ten years, as concerns continue to grow. Between four and six of the most costly natural disasters in Canada have affected that province in the West of the country.
According to an Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) spokesperson, Steve Kee, “The last few years, we’ve been near or above a billion dollars in insured [disaster related] damages and Alberta has certainly had its share.” This includes a number of different sectors, including flood insurance. The IBC has been predicting that this will be the new reality for the region in light of climate change’s impact.