The heavy downpour of rain that flooded areas in and around Calgary was the worst flooding disaster to hit the region in over a century. An outpouring of support from Albertans, Canadians, and citizens around the world came through in the form of donations to the Red Cross, as well as statements of support on social media. Even the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge contacted Prime Minister Stephen Harper to express their thoughts and prayers for the victims in Alberta.
But while the outpouring of emotional support is indeed welcomed by the victims and the disaster response teams, another conversation regarding insurance is also captivating the interests of Canadians. The discussion involves questions about the nature of home insurance, and whether the industry does a fair enough job informing homeowners of the true costs and benefits of their policies, including the limitations of home insurance.
The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is fielding questions from thousands of residents in Calgary, whose homes are now devastated by the overland flooding of water from the local Elbow River and Bow River. Many of the questions are in some way related to coverage for flooding, specifically the overland flooding that originated from the rivers.
But the IBC is firm in its response that there is no coverage for overland flooding on any standard home insurance policy anywhere in Canada. The people in Calgary and the surrounding regions are not surprisingly, upset to learn that there is little their insurance companies will do to support them.
The Alberta government approved a preliminary $1 billion emergency relief fund to provide as much assistance as possible to homeowners struggling to get back on their feet. Nevertheless, citizens are proclaiming their anger, frustration, and sense of injustice at insurance companies in Calgary, across Alberta, and reaching all the way across Canada. Canadians are demanding more information about insurance, while also raising the question if insurance reform is necessary to better protect innocent homeowners from another unexpected phenomenon.
Although the occurrence wasn’t as overwhelming as the floods in Calgary, residents in northern Ontario faced widespread flooding of their own earlier this year. Fault lines in both eastern and western Canada are also becoming frequently active, which is causing an increasingly high volume of earthquakes across the country, the latest originating only a few weeks ago in northern Quebec. Each of these disasters results in damages for homeowners, who assume – wrongly it would appear – that their home insurance plans will provide financial relief in the aftermath of such occasions.
While there is no direct evidence that there is a connection to climate change, the environment is clearly becoming more unstable year over year. Yet insurance plans, and particularly home insurance policies, remain outdated to support Canadians in light of the changing environmental patterns across the country.
Should this become part of the discussion in response to the tragedy in Calgary? Canadians can educate themselves about home insurance through informative insurance comparison websites, such as LowestRates.ca. By getting informed about the true costs, benefits, and most importantly the limitations of home insurance, Canadians can ensure they get the best coverage to protect themselves in a world that is becoming more unpredictable.
The larger discussion of insurance reform begins when enough people are better informed to make compelling arguments of their own. Learn from the tragedy in Calgary, and demand fair insurance protection when disaster does strike.
Image is by Jonathan Hayward of the Canadian Press
Guest Author Bio
A young and creative writer, Gary is a very opinionated person who is not afraid to speak his mind. He uses writing to express his thoughts, and feels attached to his work. Gary believes that an article or a post is both an expression of the writer’s beliefs, but it should also challenge the reader to develop an opinion of their own. As a result, Gary expresses his own opinion within his writing, while leaving room for readers to agree or disagree with thoughts of their own.