Fatal May storm caused over $720M in insured damage in Ontario: IBC

The deadly storm which swept through southern Ontario and Quebec in May caused more than $875 million in insured damage.

That’s according to initial estimates from Catastrophe Indices and Quantification Inc. (CatIQ), released by the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) on Wednesday.

According to CatIQ, the damage in Ontario is estimated to be over $720 million.

Meanwhile, the storm is estimated to have caused $155 million worth of damage in Quebec.

Read more: Hydro Ottawa close to restoring all power after deadly storm on May 21

The storm, which ripped through southern Ontario and Quebec on May 21, killed a total of 11 people.

Environment Canada has said the severe weather involved a derecho, a rare widespread windstorm associated with a line of thunderstorms, that developed near Sarnia, Ont., and moved northeast across the province, ending in Quebec City.

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The storm downed trees and power lines, leaving thousands without power.

“This storm now ranks as the sixth largest in Canadian history in terms of insured loss — surpassing the Toronto flood of 2005,” a press release from IBC reads.

“The derecho caused widespread damage to property, extensive power outages and sadly, loss of life.”

In a statement, Kim Donaldson, vice-president of Ontario at IBC, said as we begin to “contemplate the enormity of the financial losses, we must pause for a moment in the face of the loss of life.”

“This was largely an insurable event and insurers have been on the ground since day one, working hard to help their customers throughout the entire claims process,” Donaldson said.

“And, insurers will be there until all claims from their policyholders have been processed.”

Click to play video: 'Uxbridge, Ont. deals with damage from terrifying storm' Uxbridge, Ont. deals with damage from terrifying storm

Uxbridge, Ont. deals with damage from terrifying storm – May 22, 2022

The IBC said the derecho event is a “sobering reminder of the increasing risk climate change poses to communities across Canada.”

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“IBC continues to advocate for a National Adaptation Strategy that will result in tangible short-term measures that improve Canada’s climate defence,” the release reads.

“Governments at all levels must act with urgency to prioritize investments that reduce the impact of these severe weather events on families and communities.”

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