The Ontario Broker - June 2019 - 12

WORKING TOWARD RESILIENCE
BY KIM DONALDSON - VICE-PRESIDENT, ONTARIO, INSURANCE BUREAU OF CANADA

I

ncreasingly severe weather is a hotbutton issue, and climate experts point
to worrying weather trends that affect
all of us. IBC plays a role in addressing
this problem on behalf of our industry
- we meet government representatives at all
levels, in communities across the province
and country.

associated with severe weather? How do
we encourage and facilitate resilience in
communities across the province and country?

HOW BIG IS THE PROBLEM?

IBC's model for building resilience is what
we call a whole-of-society approach. It
acknowledges that insurers, governments and
residents must all play a role in protecting
Canada's homes and communities.

We're seeing an increase in the number of
severe weather events across Canada that
result in catastrophic losses. A catastrophic
loss or catastrophe is an event that results in
$25 million or more in insured damages.
Between 1983 and 1990, Canada endured
14 weather-related catastrophes. Between
2011 and 2018, that number ballooned to
79. Not surprisingly, costs to the industry
have increased.
From 1983 to 2008, insured losses from
natural catastrophes in Canada averaged
$400 million a year. Over the last decade,
that number has risen to over $1 billion a
year. In 2018, Canada saw close to $2 billion
in insured damages, with $1.4 billion
occurring in Ontario.
2018 was extraordinary - losses for natural
catastrophes were about $900 million above
the recent average, and this total wasn't
driven by one massive event. These rising
numbers highlight a problem that shows no
signs of abating.
As we move into summer months, Ontario has
already seen $206 million in insured damages
for 2019, and Canada has seen $394 million.
WHAT CAN BE DONE?

As an industry, we're asking ourselves
important questions about how to face this
challenge. How do we help residents and
communities manage the increasing risks

JUNE 2019

We have our work cut out for us. To
make society more resilient in the face of
severe weather, everyone needs to take
responsibility in approaching this problem.

Brokers have an important function in
this model - providing the right products
and advice to consumers to help manage
their risks.
Governments have a
responsibility to make
necessary systemic changes
that reduce risk across the
board. This includes ensuring
that building codes are sound,
and public infrastructure can
withstand increasingly severe
weather.
Residents must stay informed
so they can take responsibility
for improving their own
resilience. This includes
knowing what their risks
are and doing something to
mitigate them.
LOOKING AHEAD

The Ontario government
recently launched a plan that
incorporates many of IBC's
suggestions into measures
designed to improve climate
resilience. Suggestions include
a provincial-level climate
change impact assessment to

12

better understand how and where climate
change is likely to affect communities, critical
infrastructure, economies and the natural
environment. The intention is to provide
risk-based evidence to support future
decision-making.
We're encouraged by these steps, but we
know there's still plenty of work ahead.
We're calling on everyone in our industry
to voice their support for initiatives that
improve resilience in the face of severe
weather and reduce risk to the public.
Working together is probably the most
powerful tool in our arsenal - we believe this
is how we'll find the solutions our industry's
looking for.

FROM 1983 TO 2008,
INSURED LOSSES FROM
NATURAL CATASTROPHES
IN CANADA AVERAGED
$400 MILLION A YEAR.
OVER THE LAST DECADE,
THAT NUMBER HAS RISEN
TO OVER $1 BILLION A
YEAR. IN 2018, CANADA
SAW CLOSE TO $2 BILLION
IN INSURED DAMAGES,
WITH $1.4 BILLION
OCCURRING IN ONTARIO.

WWW.IBAO.ORG


http://WWW.IBAO.ORG

The Ontario Broker - June 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Ontario Broker - June 2019

In This Issue
The Ontario Broker - June 2019 - Cover1
The Ontario Broker - June 2019 - Cover2
The Ontario Broker - June 2019 - 3
The Ontario Broker - June 2019 - In This Issue
The Ontario Broker - June 2019 - 5
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The Ontario Broker - June 2019 - Cover3
The Ontario Broker - June 2019 - Cover4
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