How to protect yourself from the growing risk of floods

by | Apr 9, 2024 | Health and Wellness

Fuelled by climate change, population growth and urban development, flooding is a growing issue in Canada.

Severe weather events can lead to floods, which, according to the overwhelming scientific evidence, are likely to become more frequent or more intense with climate change.

According to Statistics Canada, about one in six Canadians live along coastlines. And many cities – the fastest growing areas in the country – are built on or close to floodplains. As our population and urban centres grow, so do the number of people exposed to the risk of floods.

Actuaries are risk assessment professionals who are knowledgeable about events and trends that may pose a threat to people and property. Actuaries who studied flooding calculated the average losses at $1.4 billion per year, but it can be higher. There is about a one per cent chance of losses reaching $13 billion in any given year.

To protect yourself and your property from the risk of flooding, you can:

  • Be aware. The vast majority of people living in flood-prone areas are not aware of their risk. Try to find information on the risks where you live.
  • You can choose to avoid building or living in these areas.
  • You can protect your property by checking your sump pump and drains, ensuring proper grading and drainage, installing a backwater valve for plumbing and sewer connections, and elevating or installing flood barriers around furnaces and appliances.
  • Purchase or add on flood insurance. Actuaries note that you shouldn’t assume your existing home insurance policy will cover you. Flood coverage may not be included or it may be inadequate for your needs. For those in high-risk areas, flood insurance may be unavailable or expensive. Check your policy or speak with an insurance agent to be sure.

You can learn more about Canada’s actuaries and how they address risk at cia-ica.ca

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