April 20, 2018 07:00
Photo : City of Montreal
The majority of people do not consider climate change before taking out the insurance.
This is the major finding that emerges from a survey thatIntact financial Corporation has conducted with Canadians to understand their perception of climate change and its impact on their insurance coverage. Two-thirds of Canadian respondents think so, while half of Quebecers think the same thing.
«People are not aware of the risk,» says Jonathan Gadoury, meteorologist Intact. If they have not suffered a loss, they don’t think to worry about it. This is when an event happens that they have this concern to be well protected. As an insurer, we want to provide the info that will allow them to better protect themselves, particularly with respect to floods, or hail. The floods in the spring, as well as the episode of hail that has lived in the Saguenay this summer has opened my eyes to many in Quebec, » he says.
Mr. Gadoury notes that the disasters by water, are not caused by the infiltration. «Everything can happen very quickly. Be vigilant is the key. We must not let our guard down. With climate change, it is necessary to expect this intensity to be stronger, not necessarily more frequent, but more intense, » he says.
As for the flooding, this is an event that Quebeckers may live more often, he warns. Last spring, some communities have received in an hour what they receive in six months, » he recalls.
«People have a responsibility to address this. Entrepreneurs, too, as are the municipalities. These last have to ensure that the water systems adequate. These are questions that can ask their engineers, » said Mr. Gadoury.
In spite of everything, he considers that Quebecers are not well prepared to cope with the vagaries of climate change. The meteorologist, however, specifies that they are not well-informed of what is coming.
«It is our job as an insurer, to educate them to better adapt. Just ensure that the house is in good condition, is already a good step to deal with climate change. A claim is very expensive. There are gestures which are full of common sense that we can take to mitigate. It must help them to protect their property. It goes beyond their means to buy insurance, because they have an emotional attachment to their home, » he says.
Prevent water damage is a good thing to do to begin with, » he said. If you see a puddle of water around his residence, simply ensure that it is not caused by the infiltration. Avoid the hollow toward the house is another means of protection, said Mr. Gadoury, just as lengthen its gutters to ensure that water goes as far as possible from the house.