B.C. windstorm cost insurers $37 million for loss to homes, businesses, vehicles

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VANCOUVER — The insured cost of damage from the windstorm that raged through southern B.C. in December is over $37 million, and the Insurance Bureau of Canada says that pushed the price of extreme weather in the country last year to $1.9 billion.

The storm knocked down large trees and power poles, leaving over 750,000 customers without power, some of them through Christmas.

The windstorm downed several large trees across the city. Photo by Dan Toulgoet

The insurance bureau says over 3,000 homes were damaged, boats were scattered and the pier in White Rock was cut in half.

The bureau says in a news release that as the financial costs of a changing climate rises, it is working with all levels of government to advocate for increased investment to mitigate impacts of extreme weather.

Those changes could include investments in infrastructure to protect communities from floods and fires, improvement building codes and shift development of homes and businesses away from areas of highest risk.

Bureau vice-president, Pacific, Aaron Sutherland says the financial costs of climate change are increasing rapidly and the storm is the latest example of the need to improve and adapt to the new weather reality.