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Canadian Insurers Pay Out Record C$3.2 Billion in 2013

Canadian insurance companies paid a record C$3.2 billion ($2.9 billion) to claimants last year as the country coped with weather-related disasters, an industry group said.

The ice storm in December in southern Ontario and eastern Canada led to C$200 million in payout, according to a statement issued today by the Insurance Bureau of Canada, capping a year when insured losses due to weather were more than triple the average of the past four years.

“In 2013, the terrible effects of the new weather extremes hit Canadians hard,” Don Forgeron, chief executive officer of the organization, said in the statement. “From the Alberta floods last summer to the ice storms in Ontario and Atlantic Canada over the holidays, frankly, bad weather hit insurers hard, too.”

Flooding in Alberta, the nation’s costliest natural disaster on record, caused more than C$1.7 billion in damage alone, according to the statement. Record rainfall in Toronto in July caused flash flooding and cost insurers C$940 million.

Total losses for each of the past four years have been about C$1 billion, the group said in the statement.

The Insurance Bureau is a national industry association and its members represent 90 percent of domestic property and casualty insurers.

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