Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Damage claims on the rise in New Brunswick

Shawn Berry in the Daily Gleaner (New Brunswick, Canada): Warnings from the province's insurance advocate that home rates are on the rise come as no surprise to those who have been watching New Brunswick's weather and its insurance claims. One insurance provider serving the province said it has seen the cost of the average damage claim in this province more than double over the last decade.

Consumer advocate on insurance Ronald Godin said in the last two years the cost of water-damage payouts across Canada has overtaken that of claims for fire damage. Wayne Ross, vice-president of property claims for Aviva Canada, said the company has seen a 120 per cent increase in water-related damage claims in New Brunswick between 2000 and 2010. The average claim is now more than $14,000.

Across Canada, the average water-damage claim is up 160 per cent. "You folks have had some fairly big storms in recent years," Ross said. He said the damage claims are a reflection of a number of things, including the fact that people now tend to have nicer basements.

…Michael Riley, a Fredericton engineer specializing in planning for climate change, said there's plenty of evidence to back up what insurers are saying. He said the Emergency Measures Organization dealt with 13 major rain events between 2001 and 2010. It dealt with six between 1991 and 2000. "The incidence of water-related damage is on the rise - not just a little bit, but significantly," Riley said. "Climate change is no longer a socialist conspiracy. Science has proven it is indeed happening."…

Ducks Unlimited dam on the Big Pokiok Stream in New Brunswick, Canada. Shot by voltron821

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