Canadian Insurance Companies Seeing Effects of Climate Change

flooding on a farm in Canada

I heard some years ago that the insurance industry was one of the leading industries as far as acknowledging climate change. Why? Because they get screwed if they don’t recognize the risks of climate change and adjust their policies accordingly.

Canadian insurance companies recently reported that they were, indeed, hit hard by claims in 2009,  more than half of which were due to extreme weather events. Heavy rainfall and increased flooding as a result was the most significant single cause of the claims, accounting for $1.3 billion of the $5.3 billion in claims.

Water-based damage started to rise in 2000 and in 2005 passed up fire-based damages as the leading single cause of claims. And no turning back now, it seems. Any relationship to climate change there? The insurance industry says, “Yes.”

“Now that comes from, of course, the washing machine that break down, but it’s also the fact that the municipal infrastructure has not been designed to withstand what we are experiencing, and the fact that the climate has changed,” says Robert Tremblay, research director at the Insurance Bureau of Canada.

The government’s answer is that it’s time to start adapting (as well as addressing and trying to slow climate change). Brock Carlton, CEO of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) said: “Climate change is on our front steps. It’s in our communities. We see it. We have to adapt. We can’t wait for some global agreement and we can’t just try to reduce greenhouse gas emissions only.”

Read more about this story on CBC News: Rise in flood claims tied to climate change.

Climate Change and Higher Precipitation (and Flooding)

I was about to skip over this, but figured it was worth reiterating for those who haven’t read it repeatedly by now: global weirding.. er, warming, will result in more deluges (and, thus, flooding) and more precipitation in general (and we are already seeing that,.. but, as predicted, only in certain regions of the world, as other regions are drying up as a result of global warming).

The bottom line is, you thought nature was rough before, but now nature’s going to start doing things every year that we could have expected every 100 years.

Photo Credit: Ian BC North via flickr (CC license)

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