Insurance Bureau ups estimate of hurricane Fiona insured damages to $800 million

TORONTO — The Insurance Bureau of Canada is estimating insured damages from hurricane Fiona will now reach $800 million.

The figure is higher than the bureau's original estimate of $660 million.

The revised estimation makes hurricane Fiona the seventh costliest extreme weather event in Canada's history and the most costly in Atlantic Canada.

The bureau attributes the increase to personal property claims, but notes many affected residents were located in high-risk flood areas and flood plains, where residential flood insurance coverage is generally not available.

The bureau says damages in these areas are not included in its insured-damage total, so it expects the true costs will total well into the billions of dollars.

The bureau says insurance claims resulting from severe weather have more than quadrupled over the past 15 years with the new normal for yearly insured catastrophic losses in Canada is $2 billion.

Hurricane Fiona made landfall in Nova Scotia on Sept. 24, knocking out power to more than 500,000 customers in the Maritimes and washing at least 20 homes into the ocean.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 5, 2023.

The Canadian Press