March Storm Caused $53 million Damage in Ontario

It was a significant band of storms. From March 14-16, southwestern Ontario experienced relentless weather conditions which caused an estimated $53 million in insured damages. The storm first touched down in northwestern Ontario. Then, it spread east through Ontario reaching Quebec, New Brunswick and over to Nova Scotia.

The Storm Timeline

In Ontario, the storms began the morning of March 14; bringing heavy rains. Flood warnings were issued across the province to alert homeowners of potential hazards. From Windsor to Prince Edward County winds were reported to reach a whopping 80-100 km/h. Rain continued to fall in Ontario through to March 15 and ended finally on March 16. This winter storm created an environment of warm temperatures, heavy rain, and freezing rain.

The winter storm rains, combined with snowmelt, created a considerable amount of water-related damage across the province; including significant flooding to basements, roof leakage, and some sewer backups.

A substantial portion of the damage was in the Greater Toronto Area due to a large melting of snow.

The cost of severe weather

53 million dollars is a considerable amount of money, to a province, for insured damage from a three day storm. The other provinces affected by the storm had hefty insured damage costs as well:

• Quebec: $63 million

• New Brunswick: $1.8 million

• Nova Scotia: $6.6 million

The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) estimates that for every $1 which is paid out by insurance companies for severe weather damage claims for home and business owners, the government pays $3 for public infrastructure recovery.

What you can do to protect against Mother Nature

Climate change and extreme weather are not going away. So how does one safeguard against the uncontrollable?

• Make an emergency plan for yourself and your family

• Keep up to date on weather events through new sources

• Take precautionary measures to protect your property against potential water damage (ensure you roof is fit as a fiddle, ensure drains are not blocked, educate yourself on how to keep your pipes from bursting)

• Research what you can do in and outside of your home for protection when there is a severe weather advisory

Do you have the coverage you need?

Many people take the "I have one and I’m done" philosophy for insurance policies. Especially new homeowners who are unsophisticated in what features they may need to look for in a policy for their unique property. And also, for seasoned homeowners who become complacent in their insurance policy needs.

You may innocently think that by simply having a home insurance policy - you are covered for all potential damage (including severe weather and water-related damage). But are you?

Did you know some insurers offer flood damage and /or sewage damage as add-ons to their respective policies? Do you know if you have these features added to your existing insurance policy?

Don’t wait to get up-to-date insurance rate quotes to ensure you are covered. At you can get an online (or by phone) quote from over thirty insurance providers quickly and simply. 

Mother Nature visits every year…be ready for her.