Extreme weather phenomenon: should we fear an increase in home insurance premiums?

It’s been going on for decades. Not only do we have more [d’événements de précipitations extrêmes], but every time it happens, there is more rain as well. It’s a double factor that makes it really bad when you have itexplains Audrey Maheu, a professor in the Department of Natural Sciences at the Université du Québec en Outaouais (UQO).

As for tornadoes and rights – which the region suffered last May 21 – it is difficult to predict whether such phenomena will be more frequent in the future. The data are less accurate for these strong winds events.

1950 et1970, il n’y avait pas de réseaux sociaux, de radars, de chasseurs de tornades. Il y a plus de personnes, aujourd’hui, avec des caméras, qui vont capter ces phénomènes [NDLR: ce qui contribue à donner l’impression qu’il y en a davantage]. Alors est-ce qu’il y en a plus que dans le passé? Fondamentalement, on ne sait pas”,”text”:”Entre1950 et1970, il n’y avait pas de réseaux sociaux, de radars, de chasseurs de tornades. Il y a plus de personnes, aujourd’hui, avec des caméras, qui vont capter ces phénomènes [NDLR: ce qui contribue à donner l’impression qu’il y en a davantage]. Alors est-ce qu’il y en a plus que dans le passé? Fondamentalement, on ne sait pas”}}”>Between 1950 and 1970, there were no social networks, no radars, no tornado hunters. There are more people, today, with cameras, who will capture these phenomena [NDLR : ce qui contribue à donner l’impression qu’il y en a davantage]. So are there more than in the past? Basically, we don’t knowexplains Environment Canada meteorologist Peter Kimbell.

The Northern Tornadoes Project was also created in 2017 to identify and document this type of storm in the country. Last year, 60 of the 99 tornadoes that hit Canada occurred in Ontario, mostly in the southern part of the province.

« In Canada, it has always been said that there are 70 to 80 tornadoes a year, compared to the United States, which reports 1,000. But we find that there are many more than we thought. »

A quote from Peter Kimbell, meteorologist at Environment Canada

Peter Kimbell, meteorologist at Environment Canada

Photo: Radio-Canada / Jacques Corriveau

A potential impact on insurance premiums

An increase in the number of episodes of extreme rainfall – and therefore flooding – and other violent weather events could lead to an increase in home insurance premiums.

In the case of non-life insurance companies, the annual cost of natural disaster claims in the country has been more than $ 1 billion in the last 10 years. However, over the past five years, the average has risen to $ 2.2 billion, according to figures from the Insurance Bureau of Canada (LAC).

2000, à part la crise du verglas [de1998], dont on se souvient bien, on parlait plutôt de quelques centaines de millions de dollars chaque année. Donc, c’est une tendance qu’on voit à la hausse et qui continue d’augmenter”,”text”:”Avant les années2000, à part la crise du verglas [de1998], dont on se souvient bien, on parlait plutôt de quelques centaines de millions de dollars chaque année. Donc, c’est une tendance qu’on voit à la hausse et qui continue d’augmenter”}}”>Before the 2000s, apart from the ice crisis [de 1998], which is well remembered, we were talking about a few hundred million dollars each year. So this is a trend that is on the rise and continues to growemphasizes the Director of Communications and Public Affairs of the ferryPierre Babinsky.

« If all insurers pay billions of dollars a year in claims for natural disasters, they have to adjust their premiums to be certain collectors. [d’argent] in the year to pay the claims they think they have to pay for the next 12 months. »

A quote from Pierre Babinsky, Director of Communications and Public Affairs at BAC
Pierre Babinsky.

Pierre Babinsky, Communications Director, Insurance Bureau of Canada

Photo: Radio-Canada

However, several other factors play a role in the cost of insurance premiums, such as inflation, the cost of labor and building materials, and the value of a home.

Make communities more resilient

: sortir ces résidences des zones inondées, mettre en place des mesures d’atténuation des risques d’inondations, mettre à jour nos infrastructures municipales”,”text”:”Il faut s’adapter dès maintenant à cette nouvelle réalité et rendre nos communautés plus résilientes: sortir ces résidences des zones inondées, mettre en place des mesures d’atténuation des risques d’inondations, mettre à jour nos infrastructures municipales”}}”>We must adapt now to this new reality and make our communities more resilient: get out of these residences of flooded areas, put in place the measures of attention to the risks of floods, put in our days municipal infrastructurelists Mr. Babinsky.

« There is a lot of work to be done for our sewer infrastructure [et] Rainwater harvesters are able to absorb these new amounts of water that we see pouring into our areas year after year. »

A quote from Pierre Babinsky, Director of Communications and Public Affairs at BAC
Road and banks of a river engulfed due to flooding.

The Gatineau River overflowed in the spring of 2017.

Photo: The Canadian Press / Sean Kilpatrick

they ferry is working with the federal government to put in place a program temporary which allowed residences, even in flooded areas, to have access to insurance protection, pending that we are able to make our communities resilient.

For now, some insurers are refusing to cover homeowners living in areas at risk of flooding. If you are on the brink of a flood that floods every year, the insurer will not give you protection for a “sudden and unexpected” risk when you know for sure that it is recurring every year.adds Pierre Babinsky.

The property and casualty insurance industry is adapting to all the changes we are experiencinghe argues.

Reduce the effects of climate change

To combat the root disease, one of the solutions lies in slowing down global warming, says the professor at the Department of Natural Sciences of theUQOAudrey Maheu.

« Pour each degree of temperature rise on a global scale, to participate in the events of heavy rainfall increased by 7%. »

A quote from Audrey Maheu, Professor in the Department of Natural Sciences at UQO

The sixth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), published last April, details further actions to limit global temperatures to 1.5 ° C. here 2050.

Among the advanced solutions, a radical fossil energy consumption and production base would be, among other things, essential to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

If one is able to limit our global warming, we also limit the propensity to these extreme events. The future is not so bleak. It is in our handsconcludes Mrs. Maheu.

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