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Experts say B.C. rainstorms highlight increasing flood risks and need to prepare

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Insurance experts say record rainfall in southern British Columbia is highlighting the increasing risks of flood damage and the need for homeowners to prepare.

Blair Feltmate, head of the Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation at the University of Waterloo, says that risks of flooding aren’t limited to people living next to water and that everyone should try to better understand the risks.

He says an increasing number of Canadians are buying flood insurance, but that overall not enough is being done to adapt and prepare for more intense weather.

Feltmate says increasing rainfall, such as the weekend storm in B.C. that saw the municipality of Hope hit with 174 millimetres of rain in a single day, has helped push up home insurance premiums by 20 to 25 per cent in the past six years.

Linda Dolan, owner of Alport Insurance Agencies Inc. in Port Alberni, B.C., says that many people are adding flood insurance to their coverage when they can, but that companies are being selective on who they’re offering coverage to.

She says that some companies are charging high premiums and limiting coverage to those in higher risk areas, while some homeowners can’t get flood insurance at all.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 16, 2021.

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