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Derecho could be one of Canada’s costliest convective storms


A derecho that traveled 621 miles across southern Canada, hitting major metro areas, could be one of the costliest insured severe convective storm events on record for Canada’s insurance industry, Aon PLC said Friday in its latest catastrophe report.

The May 21 storm, which generated extraordinary straight-line wind damage, could also be one of the more costly Canadian insured loss events on record based on preliminary estimates, Aon said in the report.

The derecho left at least 10 people dead and caused widespread significant damage to parts of Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec City, Aon said.

Electricity services to at least 1 million customers across southern Canada were lost as the storms passed.

In Ontario, large electrical transmission towers in Ottawa were toppled during the derecho, and no fewer than 1,000 power poles were knocked down province-wide.

Widespread damage was reported to homes and other structures, vehicles, and agricultural operations across regions impacted by the storm.

A spokesman for the Insurance Bureau of Canada said via email that an initial estimate of insured losses will be provided within 45 days.

Catastrophe Indices and Quantification Inc. has declared the storm a catastrophe. Its threshold for a catastrophe declaration is CAD $30 million ($24 million).

“However, this will be much more than $30 million,” the Insurance Bureau spokesman said.