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Wildfire in Tantallon causes over $165 million in insured damage

By Evan Taylor Jul 5, 2023 | 1:44 PM

In a recent announcement, Catastrophe Indices and Quantification Inc. revealed that the wildfire that raged through Tantallon, Nova Scotia, from May 28 to June 4, 2023, has resulted in an estimated $165 million in insured damage. The majority of claims filed were personal property claims, accounting for approximately 90% of the total claims related to the devastating wildfire.

The wildfire, which lasted for a week, forced the evacuation of over 16,000 residents from their homes and left thousands more without power. Authorities have confirmed that the fire either destroyed or caused damage to at least 200 properties, including 151 homes. The extent of the damage highlights the increasing financial vulnerability faced by Canadians due to the escalating frequency of natural disasters and severe weather events.

Amanda Dean, Vice-President, Atlantic, of the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), expressed her sympathy for those affected by the wildfire, stating, “The unprecedented 2023 wildfire season has devastated parts of Atlantic Canada and serves as a reminder of the increasing financial vulnerability of many Canadians due to natural catastrophes and other severe weather events. Our thoughts are with everyone whose lives have been disrupted and whose property has been damaged or totally destroyed.”

Dean also expressed gratitude towards the individuals involved in the ongoing recovery efforts and the brave first responders who battled the flames. She assured the residents of Tantallon, Hammonds Plains, and other impacted areas that Canada’s insurers are committed to assisting in the recovery and rebuilding process.

The IBC, in response to the situation, has been providing support to affected residents by deploying its Community Assistance Mobile Pavilion (CAMP) since May 29, 2023. The IBC CAMP staff has been on-site, answering questions and providing insurance information to thousands of Nova Scotia residents affected by the wildfire.

Dean emphasized the importance of being prepared for such natural disasters, urging residents to take appropriate steps to safeguard themselves and their properties. She encouraged those affected by the Tantallon wildfire to reach out to their insurance representatives for assistance or to contact the IBC’s Consumer Information Centre for general insurance inquiries.

The significant insured damage caused by severe weather events in Canada has become a regular occurrence, with yearly costs exceeding $2 billion. Last year, 2022, saw a staggering $3.1 billion in insured damage, making it the third-worst year on record. Comparatively, between 2001 and 2010, Canadian insurers experienced an average of $675 million in losses per year due to severe weather events.

IBC continues to collaborate closely with the federal government, provinces, and territories to improve Canada’s ability to respond to climate change-induced disaster risks and enhance overall resilience. Efforts are being made to strengthen Canada’s climate defenses and prepare for the escalating challenges posed by severe weather events.

As residents of Tantallon and surrounding areas work towards recovery and rebuilding, they can rely on the support of insurance providers and organizations like IBC to help navigate the aftermath of this devastating wildfire.


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