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Home Insurance and Climate Change: Are You Covered?

In an era where climate change is driving more extreme weather events, Canadian homeowners are growing increasingly concerned about the adequacy of their home insurance coverage. A recent survey by RatesDotCa and BNN Bloomberg reveals that these concerns are far from trivial, with many homeowners questioning whether their policies will protect them in the face of climate disasters.

Home Insurance and Climate Change: Are You Covered?
Home Insurance and Climate Change: Are You Covered?

The survey, conducted in partnership with BNN Bloomberg, found that at least 33% of Canadian homeowners are worried about climate change-related weather events impacting their properties. However, what’s intriguing is that this concerned group has yet to initiate discussions with their insurers to understand the extent of coverage provided for extreme weather-related damage.

Another 14% of respondents took a more proactive approach, contacting their insurers in recent months to seek clarification on their coverage. Among this group, a small fraction chose to enhance their policies with endorsements designed to provide additional protection against climate-related damage. This added endorsement was opted for by approximately 4% of all survey participants.

In the larger picture, only 11% of the respondents possess home insurance endorsements specifically tailored to safeguard their properties from extreme weather damage.

It’s worth noting that roughly 30% of homeowners surveyed seem to believe they don’t require any additional coverage. However, as climate change continues to fuel more severe weather patterns across the nation, it becomes increasingly important for homeowners to grasp the limitations of their existing insurance coverage.

John Shmuel, Managing Editor at RatesDotCa, emphasized the need for homeowners to have a clear understanding of their insurance policies in light of evolving climate conditions. He stated, “As climate change creates more severe weather patterns across the country, homeowners will need to fully understand what they are and aren’t covered for. The severity of storms, flooding, and wildfires are pushing claims costs higher, and homeowners may find that the coverage they have is not enough protection, and they may still be on the hook for significant repair costs.”

Interestingly, the survey also revealed a disparity in how different age groups approach the issue of climate disaster coverage. Younger homeowners, those under the age of 34, were found to be the most proactive, with one in five of them reaching out to their insurers and 8% adding endorsements to their policies. In contrast, 11% of those aged 35 to 54 inquired about their coverage, with only 4% opting for additional endorsements. Among homeowners aged 55 and over, just 7% made inquiries, and only 3% added endorsements.

As the impact of climate change continues to reshape our environment, it’s clear that homeowners, particularly the younger generation, are taking the initiative to ensure they have adequate protection in place. For homeowners of all ages, understanding your insurance policy’s coverage in the context of climate-related damage is a critical step in mitigating potential financial burdens caused by extreme weather events.

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