Calgary home insurance
HIGH LEVEL – Thousands of people are back in their homes in High Level, but it doesn’t mean the wildfire threat to communities in northern Alberta is over, and if it gets worse, you could be paying.

Canadians have seen rates increase over the years following natural disasters.

With floods in eastern Canada and wildfires continuing to burn in Alberta, it could have an impact on your finances in the future.

Rob de Pruis with the Insurance Bureau of Canada, said right now he’s not 100 per cent sure what rates will look like following the wildfire season.

He said so far wildfire-related claims in High Level aren’t major.

“The types of claims that we’re seeing would be smoke damage claims or additional living expenses that people may have had while they’re out of their home and evacuated.”

De Pruis said it’s a better situation than past years when direct fire damage and flooding pushed up rates across much of the province and country.

He goes on to say there’s been an increase in the frequency and severity of extreme weather, above the 30-year average.

“One thing that we’ve really noticed is the flooding, when we look at things as a whole, one of the main perils that we see across the country that is quite costly. We’re doing quite a bit of work in a number of areas on the mitigation.”

The IBC has kept records on catastrophic losses due to major natural disasters since 1983. Among those events were the Edmonton tornado in 1987, the ice storms in Quebec in 1998, the floods in Calgary and southern Alberta in 2013 and the wildfire in Fort McMurray in 2016.

Those records also show an increase in the number of dollars claimed from these catastrophic losses. The year with the highest amount of damages was 2016, with over $5 billion, primarily due to the Fort Mac fires.

De Pruis points out that the Insurance Bureau is working with federal and provincial governments to ensure homes aren’t built in flood zones and those in fire-prone areas are made with more resilient and flame-retardant materials.