Here's How Much the May Windstorm Cost

The saying is “April showers bring May flowers,” but in Ontario, the last few months brought a series of massive storms.

Damage from an early-May windstorm affecting Ontario and parts of Quebec topped $410 million - with $380 million of this damage in Ontario alone - according to Catastrophe Indices and Quantification Inc. (CatIQ).

For Ontario, this is the most costly event since the 2013 Toronto floods, which caused almost $1 billion in damage.

Massive wind damage was reported across several regions of Ontario and parts of Quebec on Friday, May 4 — including the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) where a fallen tree narrowly missed a school bus in Mississauga’s south end.

Strong wind gusts lasted for several hours, leading to roof damage, downed trees and power outages.

“It has been quite a damaging year so far,” said Kim Donaldson Ontario Vice-President of the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC). “This year alone insurers have already paid out three-quarters of a billion dollars, just five months into 2018.”

These are the major storms that have hit Ontario so far in 2018:

  • January 2018 - Winter storm damage in Toronto, London and southwestern Ontario of nearly $10 million
  • February 2018 - Water and winter storm damage in southern Ontario of over $40 million
  • Early April 2018 - Wind and rain storm damage in southern Ontario topping $79 million
  • Mid-April 2018 - Winter storm and ice storm in Toronto and southwestern Ontario of over $187 million
  • May 2018 - Windstorm damages of $380 million across Ontario.

The numbers above are just the insured losses associated with these natural catastrophes and not the costs to governments, which have been growing at an even faster rate.

Donaldson added, “Insured losses from extreme weather storms have been increasing rapidly. However, this is only part of the picture. Taxpayers are bearing the brunt of the costs that are not covered by insurance. Consumers are witnessing more frequent, intense storms, which we now know are attributable to climate change. The cost of climate change is real.”

Photo courtesy of Peel Regional Police

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