Estimated insured property damage caused by last June’s southern Alberta floods now exceeds $1.7 billion—making it the costliest natural disaster in Canadian history, according to Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC).

“It’s a staggering number that we expect will go even higher,” said Bill Adams, IBC vice president, Western and Pacific, in a statement. “While the monetary cost of the floods is huge, the emotional toll on Albertans is incalculable. Insurers and IBC are committed to helping Albertans through the claims process as they clean up and rebuild their lives and communities.”

The flooding was the result of torrential rainfall on June 20-24 that left four people dead and forced 100,000 people from their homes.

Immediately after the flooding, some 5,000 insurance professionals were deployed to help with the claims process. IBC provided residents with information about assessing damage, filing claims and resolving disputes; it also coordinated flood response and recovery with governments at the municipal, provincial and federal levels. IBC and its members continue to advance claim requests as quickly as possible to ensure policyholders can return to normal life.

The preliminary estimate of insured losses was calculated by Property Claim Services Canada (PCS-Canada), a service that tracks losses arising from catastrophic events in Canada. PCS-Canada also reports that well in excess of 25,000 claims have been filed in the wake of the floods.

Source: Insurance Bureau of Canada