What you need to know: Canada Flooding

18 May 2017

As a result of sustained heavy rainfall and accelerated snowmelt, many regions across Canada have been affected by major flooding. Many businesses are now facing damaged stock, property, mounting repair bills and extended business interruption.

British Columbia (BC), Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes witnessed the greatest devastation. In BC, the Central and South Interior experienced precipitation levels 150 - 300% higher than average. In Quebec, over 4,100 residences have been affected by flooding in the past few weeks and many businesses have been put on hold. Approximately 350 properties have been flooded near Ottawa, while the damage to bridges and roads in New Brunswick is estimated to be in the millions. The financial loss for businesses is yet to be released. However, thinking back to the cost of the 2013 floods in Alberta and Toronto (CAD$6Bn and nearly CAD$1Bn ) flood damage can be financially devastating.

As communities and businesses across Canada begin to recover from the recent floods, focus will inevitably turn to insurance to help cover their loss. The sheer volume of claims currently being submitted, will undoubtedly affect insurers and their loss adjusters, increasing processing and payment time. Understand the claims process and have the appropriate documentation ready will help to expedite the claims process. For the most successful outcome it is suggested to be proactive, document and communicate all losses to the adjuster.

What can you do to have your claims quickly paid and get back to business?

1. Initiate any business continuity plans you have in place and monitor the situation. Nominate someone to lead the claim management strategy and proactively drive the process. Use local warning systems to get information and immediate expert advice.
2. Notify your insurance broker or contact their claims team.
3. Return to the property only when authorities indicate it safe to do so. Be cautious when returning to the premise; there may be hidden damage, particularly in foundations.
4. Take numerous pictures of the property and damage for your insurer (only when safe to do so) as the preservation of evidence and mitigation of loss are conditions under a flood policy.

From an adjusting standpoint, water is the most complex peril to adjust. Should a claims scenario be declared a catastrophic event, JLT Canada has a national program in place to provide immediate relief to our clients. To report a claim, please contact our 24/7 Claims Management Center: +1 866 554 5002.

Stay afloat with JLT Canada’s Business Flooding Toolkit – a guide that helps Canadian businesses prepare for and manage the impact of flood risks. Click here to register and download your complimentary copy.  

For further information, please contact: Nicole Ng, Vice President, National Practice Leader – Claims: +1 416 848 6902 or at ClientFirst@jltcanada.com