What’s the Damage: IBC releases report of most costly weather events of 2020

Toronto, Ontario – As communities across Canada continue to pay the price of catastrophic environmental disasters, the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) has totaled up the financial costs of the most significantly damaging weather events of 2020, released in a report Monday.

Alberta has the biggest cleanup ahead as the province was host to the three most costly weather events of the past year.

The Calgary hailstorm of June 2020 racked up about $1.3 billion in damage, with the flooding in Fort MacMurray contributing $562 million and the summer storms in central and southern Alberta costing $221 million, according to the report.

Combined, Alberta’s damages for 2020 total nearly $2.1 billion.

Other events noted in the report include January snowstorms in Quebec and Ontario, with a costly rainstorm occurring in BC later that month, and the windstorm Nov. 15 which swept through Ontario on Nov. 15, dealing $88 million in damage alone.

Vice-President of federal affairs for IBC, Craig Stewart, acknowledged that the significant losses people incur annually due to severe weather events are evidence of climate change’s direct effect on Canadian lives.

As well, he calls on the federal government to establish a plan for protecting Canadians against severe weather events in the future.

“Canadians continue to experience accelerating financial losses from climate change. While acknowledging the importance of a resilient recovery, the federal government lacks any national plan to protect Canadians from floods, fires, windstorms and hail. For all of its work on reducing future climate threats, too little attention is being paid to the losses Canadians are facing today due to past inaction,” said Stewart.

This year, the federal government created the Task Force on High Risk Residential Flood Insurance and Strategic Relocation in the aim to provide better access to flood insurance for Canadians across the country.

The full report can be found here:

Top Insured Damage Severe Weather Events in 2020

January 10 Rainstorm and snowstorm Southern Ontario and Quebec $98 million
January 31 BC rainstorm   $42 million
April 26 to May 3 Fort McMurray flooding $562 million
June 13 Calgary hailstorm $1.3 billion
July & August Central and Southern Alberta storms $221 million
November 15 Ontario windstorm $88 million


Top 10 Highest Loss Years on Record

Rank Year Total loss

($ billion)

Notable severe weather event
1 2016 5.261 Fort McMurray, Alberta, fire
2 2013 3.418 Alberta and Greater Toronto Area floods
3 1998 2.494 Quebec ice storm
4 2020 2.388 Fort McMurray, Alberta, flooding and Calgary, Alberta, hailstorm
5 2018 2.113 Multiple events: Ontario and Quebec rainstorms and windstorms
6 2011 1.740 Slave Lake, Alberta, fire and windstorm
7 2012 1.456 Calgary, Alberta, rainstorm
8 2019 1.334 Multiple events
9 2005 1.299 Ontario rainstorm
10 2017 1.255 Multiple events

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