Are flood claims increasing?

Flood seems to be in the news everywhere. China has suffered tremendous flooding which has cost the lives of 701 people there so far. Northeast China has been hard hit with over 5,50 house collapsing and over 50,000 residents having to find somewhere new to live. The cost so far in China is $21 billion in damages.

It looks like 2010 will make the record books for flooding. The worldwide numbers for tracking flooding between January and June already have us at the third highest number since 1980.

Comparisons are being made with 100 year events in some of the cases that range from Asia, Africa, Europe and North and South America. The biggest dollar count in damages is coming from water damage.

The numbers this year among the 440 catastrophes which include flood, earthquake, windstorms and hail have totaled up to $70 billion (USD) this year. We're already well over the total for 2009 and we're only part way through the year.

Even Calgary, Alberta has seen estimates of over $300 million from the July 12, 2010 hailstorm. This is from a 30 minute event where the hail was large enough to smash windshields, dent cars, break windows in homes and of course, there is resultant water damage.

Saskatchewan saw several natural disasters which will likely total $47 million or more. This is a result of 3,000 property and 1,700 auto claims that resulted from windstorms, hail and flooding in the province.

Worldwide we are seeing lots of other environment-related claims. The Eyjafjallajökull volcano eruption caused more than 100,000 cancelled flights with the airlines having business interruption claims and the travelers having claims under their trip insurance.

The winter storm which raged across Europe cost $3.4 billion (USD). The Chilean earthquake at a 8.8 magnitude cost insurance $8 billion (USD) with overall losses of $30 billion (USD). The U.S. has had over $2.5 billion in overall losses with $1 billion paid out in insured losses.

Insurance Advice
What can you do to protect yourself? Consider trying the minimize the risk to your home from flood, windstorm and hail. Look at the trees, eavestrough, drainage, shingles on your roof for just a start. We offer some practical tips below on how to handle these situations but it is up to you to take whatever steps you can to reduce the risk the loss. Prevention can be the answer as insurance is only there for what you cannot avoid or control.