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Climate Change Risk to Ontario Homeowners

Climate Change Risk to Ontario Homeowners

March 12, 2020

Flooding Could be Expensive 

Insurance could be too expensive or not available if your house in is a risky flood zone area.

Climate change is a significant risk. 

For many of us our largest asset is our house. To protect ourselves we simply buy insurance

But all that is changing.

As a result of climate change, Ontario weather patterns have resulted in more floods.

Several areas in the news include shoreline properties along the Great Lakes, the St. Lawrence River, and some Muskoka communities. 

Listening to the weather reports it seems a “100 year flood” can occur several times in just a few years. 

An insurance company will assess the risk of financial loss and set premiums accordingly.

You want insurance. They want profit.

That will bring about changes that could hurt some homeowners. Insurance rates will rise significantly, in some cases your property may be uninsurable.

A lot of residential development has occurred on low lands that in hindsight should not have been developed because of flood risk. Often these areas are in high demand because of the appeal of proximity to lakes, rivers, or urban centers.

If your neighbourhood is at risk of flood damage, that could hurt you financially. You might not be able to afford the financial cost of repairing your house without insurance, or premiums become unaffordable. 

Flood risk is public information, so the value of your property will be less. Add in climate change to overdevelopment and you have the recipe for a perfect storm.

Southern Ontario’s expanding population puts pressure on land development.  Wetlands can be reduced, but this area absorbs high levels of rainfall or melting snow.

Much land that has not been used for new development has been paved over. Plain and simple there is no place for the water to go.

Consider climate change issues.  How can you protect your house? Where should you decide to own a house?

Peter Watson, of Watson Investments MBA, CFP®, R.F.P., CIM®, FCSI offers a weekly financial planning column, Dollars & Sense. He can be contacted through www.watsoninvestments.com