Determining financial costs of B.C. storm will take time, insurers say

Restoration crews deal with one of many flooded homes in Greater Victoria, Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021.

Vancouver Island restoration companies were busy Tuesday, assessing the damage from the massive storm that flooded homes and highways, and helping homeowners salvage what they can.

“Between midnight and 5 a.m. we received approximately 50 phone calls,” says Michael Arneja, director of Griffin Restoration Services.

His crew was out Monday morning at a home in Greater Victoria, where a sump pump failed after the overwhelming amount of rain. Now, the basement is under several centimeters of water — a fix that could take almost two months to complete.

“People are generally experiencing the emergency between seven to 10 days, and then four to eight weeks for the repair, and that all depends on the process of the claim and the process of the entire restoration,” adds Arneja.

The Insurance Bureau of Canada says the situation in B.C. is very dynamic and it is still working to understand the severity.

“The insurance industry is prepared for this event, they have initiated their internal response plans, so they do have people that are standing by and most of the insurance providers have 24/7 claim reporting services,” says Rob De Pruis, director of consumer and industry relations with the Insurance Bureau of Canada.

In just a few months, B.C. residents have endured record heatwaves and wildfires, bomb cyclones and now torrential rain and flooding.

“We are seeing more frequency and more severity of these severe weather events from coast to coast and it’s a real significant issue,” says De Pruis.

The bureau says it could be over a month until they are able to come up with the final costs associated with the damages, as homeowners across the province begin cleanup on yet another devastating storm.

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Hannah LepineHannah Lepine

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