Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 26/10/2009 (3645 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
And — thanks to global warming — there's more of that to come, a conference in Montreal was told Monday.
Martin-Eric Tremblay of the Co-operators Group Ltd. said that insurance companies now expect to pay out claims on catastrophic events four times more often than they did in the 1980s.
Weighing the risks of natural disasters has become part of daily operations for insurance firms, he said.
"Years ago we were not even thinking about having hurricanes on the shores of the Atlantic (provinces)," Tremblay, Co-operators' senior vice-president, said in an interview after his presentation to a workshop organized by Quebec's financial regulator.
In its 2009 report, the Insurance Bureau of Canada said insurance claims related to severe weather, even when adjusted for inflation, have doubled every five to 10 years since the 1950s.
The weather patterns could wind up hitting customers' wallets.
"We'll have to take (more natural disasters) as a Canadian reality," Tremblay said. "If you've got one every three years, it's a small surcharge in your premium, but when it comes to three or four big events a year, you've got to charge it back to the client."
He indicated insurance companies are already covering water damage without receiving enough in return.
But one industry member said governments can keep insurance premiums down by creating building codes that call for sturdier structures and by putting more limits on where new homes are built.
— The Canadian Press