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City Preparedness Top Priority for Flood Mitigation: Report | Canadian Insurance
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City Preparedness Top Priority for Flood Mitigation: Report

Stakeholders say flood plain mapping and building design are also important

A new report by researchers at the University of Waterloo says Canada needs to do a better job of preparing its cities for floods.

Stakeholders from insurance and government, real estate and other sectors say the other top-priority areas that could mitigate flood risk in Canada were developing new maps of flood plains and factoring extreme weather into building design and retrofits.

Read: Can Overland Flood Ever Become Insurable in Canada?

“Canada is well behind other nations when it comes to managing the risk associated with overland flooding,” said Rob Wesseling, executive vice-president at The Co-operators, which commissioned the report. “It is a complex issue that requires a multi-faceted response, which is why we brought together such a variety of stakeholders.”

The report, prepared by Dr. Blair Feltmate and Dr. Jason Thistlethwaite, is the second of three phases in their research. The first phase looked at the viability of overland flood insurance, while the third will focus on cities’ preparedness, the one point that Co-operators says no government is looking at.

Read: Industry Needs Common Ground on Flood Insurance: CIP Symposium

The priority areas that the stakeholders identified were the top three of fourteen; others on the short list included natural infrastructure, insurance incentives and a home adaptation audit program.

The adaptation program was one area where insurers and other stakeholders disagreed. The report notes that some people had concerns about the cost of such a program, and suggested that folding it into existing policies, like real-estate inspections, could be a better way forward.

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