The survey, carried out among municipalities that represent over half of the population of Quebec, revealed that over $110 billion would need to be invested in water infrastructure systems (waste water and aqueducts).
Insurers are concerned about the number of overflowing sewer lines and broken water mains that have impacted residents of Quebec municipalities in recent years. The survey also revealed that municipalities have noted a significant or rapid deterioration in 17% of waste water sewer systems, and visible deterioration in 24%, while 35% of potable water supply systems need to be upgraded.
Over 50% of claims cost are in home insurance
IBC is again pointing out that water damage caused by municipal infrastructure totalled more than $400 million in 2011, and this in Quebec alone. “This means that 50 cents out of every dollar paid out in home insurance claims are for water damage. An even bigger problem is recurring damage,” noted Johanne Lamanque, Vice-President, Quebec, at IBC. If the various levels of government do nothing, insurers are concerned about the negative impact this situation could have on the availability of and coverage for water damage.
IBC also noted that it developed a risk assessment tool which allows municipalities to measure the probability of their infrastructure failing, which could result in sewers backing up. This is a pan-Canadian initiative, and some 10 municipalities took part in the pilot project, including London and Hamilton, Fredericton, Moncton and Bathurst, St. John, Newfoundland, and Winnipeg and Coquitlam, British Columbia. No Quebec municipality has taken part in the project so far.
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