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Rising waters mean rising insurance premiums

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Flood damage will send insurance rates higher

CALGARY – Insurance premiums will spike widely due to the damage from massive flooding in southern Alberta, said a spokesman for the country's underwriters.

All Canadians will share the pain after the impact of the worst flooding in decades is tabulated, said Steve Kee, spokesman for the Insurance Bureau of Canada.

"Insurance does spread risk out among policy owners, you'll see increasing claims and it's going to affect all policy holders," Kee said Friday.

"It will be a significant hit."

But he said what's likely the bulk of the damage, caused by overland flooding or overflowing rivers, isn't covered by insurance.

Vehicles lost or damaged are covered by policies, said Kee, as are in-house sewer backups.

The province will work with Albertans struck by uninsurable damage, said Municipal Affairs Minister Doug Griffiths.

Southern Alberta flooding in June 2005 racked up $300 million in insurance claims but many observers say the recent disaster will far eclipse that.

FACTBOX

Costliest natural disasters in Canadian history

1998: Quebec-Ontario-New Brunswick ice storm: $5.4 billion

1997: Mantiboa-North Dakota flood: $3.5 billion

2011: Slave Lake fire: $700 million

2012: Calgary hail, wind storms: $552 million

2010: Calgary hail storm: $400 million

2005: Alberta floods: $400 million

1991: Calgary hail storm: $342 million

1996: Calgary hail storm: $300 million

2011: Calgary wind storm: $225 million

Source: Canoe.ca - By Bill Kaufmann, QMI Agency

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