Last year was one for the weather books in Canada. From coast to coast, disasters were ample and costly -- from destructive wildfires and floods to heat waves and tornadoes.
Now, a financial toll for all of the extreme events in 2021 has been pegged: $2.04 billion in insured losses, according to the latest data from Catastrophe Indices and Quantification Inc. (CatIQ), which was released Tuesday. The tally is high enough to place 2021 in the top five loss years for the country.
The $2.04 billion figure includes 14 events that incurred at least $25 million in insured losses. The year also ties for second place in terms of the number of catastrophes. Western Canada certainly took the brunt of Mother Nature's wrath in 2021, as wildfires, windstorms and record-breaking flooding battered the region, with B.C. incurring most of it.
Lytton, B.C. wildfire. (Kyle Brittain/The Weather Network)
“Climate-related catastrophes in Canada are increasing in frequency and severity, and impacting our communities like never before,” said Lisa Guglietti, executive vice-president and chief operating officer of P&C Manufacturing at The Co-operators, in a news release.
“As an industry, we must collaborate across sectors to develop real action and proactive solutions that protect the financial security of Canadians, by focusing on preventing losses, increasing risk awareness, and investing in solutions and infrastructure that will help build long-term community resiliency.”
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PARTICULARLY COSTLY DISASTERS IN 2021
One of the weather events that make up a good portion of the 2021 figure was the November flooding in B.C. According to Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), it carried a preliminary figure of $450 million in insured damage. The prolonged flooding began with a series of atmospheric rivers near mid-November that brought unprecedented rain to southwestern B.C. over a multi-week period, resulting in mudslides that led to the loss of human and animals lives.
Barrie, Ont., tornado damage. (Marta Czurylowicz/The Weather Network)
The powerful tornadoes that rolled through southern Ontario in mid-July, including the one that severely impacted a neighbourhood in Barrie, did an estimated $100 million in insured damages, according to updated assessments. IBC Canada released the numbers based on data from CatIQ.
As well, the wildfire in White Rock Lake, B.C., which began in July, is estimated to have caused $77 million in insured damage, according to an initial evaluation from CatIQ.
CatIQ said these devastating events, which have direct impact on the public, require industry, academia and government to "work together before, during and afterwards."
Thumbnail courtesy of Jaclyn Whittal/The Weather Network.
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