Economic Impact of Flooding: Punishing Costs

Floods now cause more property damage than any other hazard in Canada, and water-related losses are the main source of property insurance claims. A flooded basement does an average of $43,000 in damage; uninsured flood damage costs property owners almost $600 million a year.

There’s also lost time: a recent study identified the scale of lost work time for people whose basement flooded:

“56% of flooded households with at least one person working took time off work, an average of seven days per household. This is 10 times the Ontario average for non-flooded households.”

Governments are also on the hook: the above-mentioned GTA 2013 flood cost Toronto more than $65 million for response and recovery — plus infrastructure repair expenses in the hundreds of millions. And flood recovery consumes over 75% of federal disaster assistance payments: more than $670 million annually.

Aside from the economic burden, flooding causes deep, lasting mental and physical health problems. And with a changing climate, the costs of flooding will only increase.