The $1-billion mark used to be exceptional, said Robert Tremblay, director of research with the Insurance Bureau of Canada. This year, however, marks the third in a row that weather-related destruction has topped or neared that level.
“Unfortunately, it has become a yearly occurrence and so now we have to wonder where it will it go from here,” Mr. Tremblay said.
The insurance bureau’s figures do not include hundreds of millions of dollars in financial aid doled out by governments for natural disasters insurers won’t cover, such as flooding. Compensation claims connected to Manitoba’s unprecedented spring flooding could alone top $1-billion, significantly adding to the province’s deficit, Premier Greg Selinger said recently.
If leading international climate scientists are right, these kinds of weather extremes – storms, floods, heat waves and droughts – will become more frequent as the Earth’s temperature rises. Economic losses will continue to mount unless governments, businesses and residents better prepare for the predicted increase in natural disasters, said Glenn McGillivray, managing director of the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction, an independent research institute established by the insurance industry and affiliated with the University of Western Ontario in London.
“We have to build more resilient communities,” Mr. McGillivray said. “One of the concerns that we have is the building code is based on historical weather. It’s not very helpful to build something that is supposed to last for 100 years on weather from the past.”"
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As our numbers increase, so space for other animals and plants decreases. Our skills and technological ingenuity seem to know no bounds. Having...”