Hurricane Fiona is the costliest extreme weather event on record in Atlantic Canada, with $660 million in insured damage, according to preliminary estimates from Catastrophe Indices and Quantification Inc. (CatIQ).
The long and powerful storm of September 24 is also the tenth largest in Canada in terms of insured damage, surpassing that of 2011 in Slave Lake, Alberta. fires.
The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) released CatIQ damage estimates on Wednesday.
Although Fiona affected all of the Atlantic provinces and Quebec, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island suffered the brunt of the insured loss, according to CatIQ.
“Although the insured damage estimated at $660 million is a record number, many affected residents were in high-risk flood zones and flood plains where residential flood insurance coverage is not available” , IBC said in the statement. “As a result, the overwhelming majority of the costs of this disaster will be borne by the government.”
Nova Scotia recorded over $385 million in insured losses. Tree damage was widespread, with many large trees falling on cars and buildings in Halifax. Cape Breton Island and Pictou County suffered extensive damage including major flooding, roofs torn from buildings, washed out roads and storm surges. On the day the post-tropical storm made landfall, power outages affected more than 415,000 customers, leaving about 80% of the province without power.
In PEI, damage was reported across the island. Homes were displaced from their foundations by storm surges and the wind ripped roofs off buildings. Trees and power lines were damaged or snapped/uprooted across the island, leaving 82,000 customers without power on Sunday 25th September. “This represents 95% of the total customers on the island,” IBC said. “Significant beach erosion has also impacted much of the north coast.”
Although media and images from Newfoundland and Labrador showed extreme damage to washed-out homes and record storm surge, insured damage was only just over $7 million. dollars. Industry sources said Canadian underwriter it is likely that there will be quite a number of properties in Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island that will not have insurance.
Southwestern Newfoundland was particularly hard hit by Fiona, with severe damage reported from Burgeo to Port Aux Basques. At least 20 houses were swept into the ocean, mainly in Port aux Basques, leading to the evacuation of nearly 200 people. IBC reported that one death has been confirmed in the town after a house collapsed into the sea amid intense wave action and storm surge. Homes were also destroyed in Burgeo, Burnt Islands and Fox Roost, where several buildings were destroyed by waves and storm surge.
New Brunswick was spared much of the damage from Fiona due to the storm’s eastern track, but still suffered over $30 million in insured damage. Widespread outages occurred in Saint John, Fredericton, Moncton and the Acadian Peninsula. Structural damage was largely localized along the Northumberland Strait and near the Nova Scotia border, with large trees and branches downed, IBC said.
In Quebec, the insured damage amounted to more than $11 million. The Magdalen Islands experienced significant flooding, with many homes and businesses flooded to a depth of several feet. Flooding and erosion from large waves associated with storm surges have been reported along parts of the Gaspé Peninsula coast.
“As we begin to see the extent of the damage caused by Hurricane Fiona, it is clear that much more needs to be done to improve our resilience to extreme weather events and create a culture of preparedness for the future” , said Amanda Dean, Vice President of BAC’s Atlantic Region. “Climate change is real, and the deaths, emotional turmoil and financial consequences we have witnessed must be a call to action – we must prioritize protecting all Canadians from the impacts of climate change. .
Weather insurance claims have more than quadrupled in Canada since 2008, and eight of the costliest disasters in Canadian history have occurred since 2013.
For the third consecutive year, Cat insured losses exceeded $2 billion per year.
Feature Image: Buildings sit in the water along the shoreline after Hurricane Fiona in Rose Blanche-Harbour Le Cou, Newfoundland, Tuesday, September 27, 2022. Fiona left a trail of destruction across much of the Atlantic Canada, stretching from eastern Nova Scotia to Cape Breton, Prince Edward Island and southwestern Newfoundland. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn