Climate change will bring severe weather

A new research report commissioned by the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) found that Canada can expect some wild weather in the future.

What will Canada’s weather look like 40 years from now? According to projections made by Professor Gordon McBean, a world renowned climate scientist from the University of Western Ontario, warmer temperatures in the summer months will, in some regions, result in an increase in wild fires, drought, water scarcity, lightning flash density and the risk of hail storms.  Also parts of the country will see more intense winter storms, more freezing rain and precipitation, as well as a significant decline in sea ice cover and increased coastal erosion.

These are some of the findings of a research report released today entitled “Telling the Weather Story: Can Canada Manage the Storms Ahead?”  The research was commissioned by the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) and conducted by Dr. McBean and the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction.

“We hope that this research will act as a catalyst for governments, industry, communities and individuals to recognize the weather risks we are facing and to enter discussions about how to reduce their effects on Canadians’ lives and communities,” said Gregor Robinson, senior vice president, Policy and Chief Economist with IBC, in a release today.

“Insurers are seeing the financial impacts of severe weather first-hand. Canadians are already witnessing the impact of severe weather in terms of lost lives and injuries, families displaced from their homes, and towns that are devastated,” said Robinson.

In 2011, catastrophic events cost Canadian insurers roughly $1.7B and almost $1B in each of the two previous years. The majority of these insured losses were caused by extreme weather events, but smaller weather events also played a role in significant property damage for consumers.

IBC commissioned this research to better understand severe weather as a factor in the increasing damages to personal and commercial properties that we are seeing in many parts of Canada.

For more information on this research report be sure to read the June issue of Canadian Insurance Top Broker.

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