Insurance and climate change adaptation in Canada

The 2013 flood in southern Alberta was the costliest flood in Canada’s history. Unfortunately, damage from overland flow of water from the flood did not qualify for property insurance, leaving many victims without resources for a full recovery. This gap in coverage led insurers to question whether Canadians had sufficient coverage for a changing climate where flood risk is anticipated to increase. In response, insurers expanded their coverage to include overland flood damage, which had previously been unavailable in Canada. The availability of flood insurance provides an important tool for enhancing climate resilience by assigning premiums that create an incentive for property owners, businesses and communities to reduce their own exposure through expansion of coverage, and also by sharing the recovery costs from flood impacts when they occur.

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