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Intact employs a meteorologist to better cope with climate change


Hubert Roy

11 April, 2018 07:00

Jonathan Gadoury | Photo : Réjean Meloche

A meteorologist can consider a career in insurance ? Yes, because Jonathan Gadoury has been working since three years in this capacity at Intact financial Corporation. The Journal of insurance the met with him to talk about his work at an insurer.

How an insurer has-t-he advantage to call on the services of a meteorologist ? «With climate change, we realize how the nature may cost a lot, although Canada is less exposed. That said, Canada also has its share of disasters, but less strongly than other countries. Intact had wanted to give themselves ammunition in the face of this, » said Mr. Gadoury.

Work analyst

Thus, as a meteorologist, Mr. Gadoury can help Intact to model disasters. To his knowledge, he is the only meteorologist in the employment of an insurer in Canada. It is more common in the United States, » he stressed.

«Down there, several insurers have specialists for specific issues, such as earthquakes. However, I believe that I will not be alone for much longer in Canada, » he says.

The opinion of Mr. Gadoury has also been approached in the design of products. «Our managers have ideas that they believe sometimes wacky. I help to validate them in the development of their projects. You can compare my role to that of an analyst. I also work closely with the actuaries at the level of the pricing models in order to mitigate the losses. I just put the meat around the bone. «

Partnership with Ouranos

He said that Intact is avant-garde in its approach, most notably its partnership with the scientific research organization Ouranos. «It deepens our knowledge. It explores what happens with climate change, because they occur in this moment. We must not wait until it is past to move forward. As a meteorologist, I help Intact to deepen their knowledge of the subject matter, but also to help our clients prepare. This is the essence of our Web site, The Insurance is changing. I think this was the right approach, because we are proactive, » he says.

Water : the greatest danger

For the meteorologist of Intact, water is the biggest problem that lead to climate change. Snow melt faster due to flooding. The violent storms also cause short flood. The wind can also cause damage, not to mention the forest fires, of which it considers that the Nord-du-Québec is vulnerable.

«We speak little of the hail. We’re starting to see episodes where hailstones as big as golf balls fall. It can quickly cause damage. The materials of construction are not suited to this. Nevertheless, this type of event is likely to return more frequently, » said Mr. Gadoury.

The climate ensures that new surprises are possible. Vortex polar so that Alberta can now live a temperature of 15 degrees Celsius while it was minus 40 degrees Celsius in the north of Quebec.

Energy Distribution

Other cases : the increase in temperature of one degree Celsius on the planet created from the energy. Remains to be seen how it redistributes. Hurricane Ophelia, which has shifted to the british shores in the autumn, has left Mr. Gadoury without a voice, all the more that it was a category 3 hurricane.

«There will be a lot of research on this case. This is a new risk for Europe. The insurers did not take into account previously. «

As another example, while the United States reduced the restrictions on their Code of the building this fall, the Caribbean has been ravaged by a major hurricane. «We must not lower his guard. Climate change, it is happening now «, said Mr. Gadoury.

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