Canadian natural disasters caused insured losses of C$2.1 billion in 2021

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Rainstorms lash the western Canadian province of British Columbia

TORONTO (Reuters) - Severe weather events in Canada caused insured losses of C$2.1 billion ($1.68 billion) last year, making 2021 the sixth-costliest since 1983, the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) said in a statement on Tuesday.

Floods in British Columbia in November, where heavy rains caused mudslides and stranded thousands of people, caused the highest amount of insured damage, at C$515 million. That was followed by a hailstorm in Calgary that caused flash flooding and dangerous driving conditions, at C$500 million.

"In today’s world of extreme weather events, the new normal for yearly insured catastrophic losses in Canada has become C$2 billion, most of it due to water-related damage," Craig Stewart, vice-president, federal affairs, for the IBC, said in the statement, adding that this compares with an average of C$422 million a year between 1983 and 2008.

He called on the government to allocate "robust funding" in this year's federal budget to implement a National Adaptation Strategy that seeks to build resilience against the impact of climate change.

The IBC data come on the heels of a report published on Friday by the Bank of Canada and the country's financial regulator that said that delaying actions to prepare for a transition to a low-carbon economy exposes financial institutions and investors to "sudden and large losses."

($1 = 1.2513 Canadian dollars)

(Reporting By Nichola Saminather; Editing by Mark Porter)

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