Nova Scotia·SYDNEY FLOOD

Thanksgiving storm caused $100M in insured damage

Insurance Bureau of Canada says the majority of the damage claims came from Cape Breton.

Figure accounts for all of Atlantic Canada, but majority of claims came from Cape Breton

Claims on personal property, automobile and commercial policies tally more than $100 million. (Vaughan Merchant/Canadian Press)

The Thanksgiving Day storm caused more than $100 million in insured damage in Atlantic Canada, according to the Insurance Bureau of Canada.

"This was a very big event," said Amanda Dean, vice-president Atlantic with the bureau.

Dean said while there were damage claims reported in all four Atlantic provinces, the majority came from Cape Breton.

The tally represents claims on personal property, automobile and commercial policies. Damage includes basements ruined by sewer backups, shingles blown off roofs, and flooded cars and trucks.

'Very high figure'

The $100-million figure does not include damage to public infrastructure, and Dean said it only includes claims that were insured.

"We also know that some folks in those areas did not have a valid home insurance policy," she said.

"So when you take that into account, in addition to the damage that was done to provincial as well as municipal infrastructure, it's a pretty significant amount."

Dean said the data was provided by Catastrophe Indices and Quantification Inc., a company that surveys insurers following catastrophic events.

Storm shouldn't affect insurance long term 

Dean said the majority of the claims have either been paid out or are the in the process of being paid.

"When insurers are dealing with contractors and remediation companies and so on, sometimes as that work takes place the money will be paid out later on," she said. "So they're basing some of that number on quotes. But a lot of that money has been paid out already."

Dean said a one-time event such as the rainstorm typically does not affect insurance rates down the road.

"So likely there's not going to be any change in what we all see in terms of our policies," she said.

However, she suggests people meet with their insurance representatives to have that conversation, and to go over their damage coverage.

About the Author

Holly Conners is a reporter and current affairs producer who has been with CBC Cape Breton since 1998. Contact her at holly.conners@cbc.ca.

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