British Columbia

Insurance payout for B.C.'s August windstorm tops $25M

The windstorm that swept through southern British Columbia on Aug. 29 caused over $25 million in insured damage, according to a preliminary estimate released by the Insurance Bureau of Canada.

Insurance payouts for severe weather damage have doubled since the 1990s

People walk past a large tree that was downed during a windstorm in downtown Vancouver, B.C., on Saturday August 29, 2015. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

The windstorm that swept through southern British Columbia on Aug. 29 caused over $25 million in insured damage, according to a preliminary estimate released by the Insurance Bureau of Canada.

The windstorm knocked out power to 710,000 BC Hydro customers as it toppled trees, damaged power lines, homes, fences and vehicles. It also closed businesses and attractions, including parts of Stanley Park and the annual Pacific National Exhibition.  

Much of the damage from the August storm was blamed on how the unseasonably strong winds and heavy rain affected many trees, still with their summer leaves, that had their roots weakened after a prolonged drought.

"Extreme weather events, such as this one, are increasing in frequency and severity," said IBC vice-president Bill Adams in statement released Tuesday.

Adams said since the late '90s, insurance payouts as a result of severe weather in British Columbia have more than doubled.

"The facts point to the importance of being prepared," said Adams. "Know what's in your insurance policy and research ways to reduce your property's vulnerability to damage."

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