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Canadian weather cats cost $1.9bn during 2020

Weather-related natural catastrophe losses in Canada cost insurers $1.9bn (C$2.4bn) during 2020, according to the country’s insurance trade body.

On Tuesday, the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) said the tally for weather claims had risen to the fourth-highest level since 1983, with Fort McMurray flooding and a Calgary hailstorm costing $441.2mn (C$562mn) and $1bn (C$1.3bn), respectively.

In November a windstorm in Ontario resulted in damage of about $69.1mn (C$88mn), while a rainstorm in British Columbia in January caused about $33mn (C$42mn) in losses.

The claims total for the year compares with a loss estimate for global natural disasters of $270bn from Munich Re. The figure is significantly higher than prior years.

IBC vice president of federal affairs, Craig Stewart, said: “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.”

During 2020, the Canadian government launched a task force on high-risk residential flood insurance and strategic relocation.

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