Fort McMurray wildfire insurance costs will be highest in the history of Canada

Fort McMurray wildfire

The Insurance Bureau of Canada estimates a total insured loss of approximately $3.58 billion.

The tremendous Fort McMurray wildfire that ripped through the region in Alberta, Canada was the costliest in the country’s history. No other disaster brought such great expense to insurance companies. The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) estimates a total cost of $3.58 billion.

Canadian insurance companies have never faced an cost that large from any single disaster in history.

The IBC issued a report based on information collected through a survey of insurance companies. With this information, the IBC calculated a likely total insured cost from the Fort McMurray wildfire. When all was said and done, the fire destroyed 2,400 homes and buildings. The wildfire entered the city on May 3, 2016. It forced over 80,000 people to evacuate the city. It made its way through full neighborhoods within the oilsands community.

Firefighters worked ceaselessly to protect the city. Their tireless efforts spared considerably more of the city than predicted. Still, hundreds of buildings that were not burned still experienced heavy damage from flames and smoke. Many were rendered uninhabitable, despite the fact that they were still standing.

The Fort McMurray wildfire generated the most insured costs of any Canadian disaster in history.

Fort McMurray wildfireAccording to the IBC vice president of the Western and Pacific Region, Bill Adams, “This event is largely an insured one, but these numbers fall well short of measuring the real tragedy of this wildfire, one that has taken an immense toll on thousands of individuals and families.” He added that the Canadian insurance industry has never seen anything like this before. While it was prepared, “the scale and the scope” of this catastrophe remains entirely new to insurance companies in Canada.

Moreover, it should be pointed out that those represent only the costs covered by insurance policies. The total cost of the disaster remains well beyond specific calculation. Adams explained that insurance policy payouts are covering the majority of that total.

Adams also explained that most of the full cost of the Fort McMurray wildfire will have coverage from one type of insurance policy or another, whether that be home, auto or business. This sets the situation well apart from the massive Calgary and southern Alberta flooding in 2013, which had previously held the title as the most costly disaster.

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