Insurance experts say the growing risk of severe weather events is putting pressure on insurance companies and they may have to increase premiums charged to consumers.

Craig Stewart of the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) says that in recent years, claims related to extreme weather conditions and inflation, among others, have all contributed to driving up insurance premiums.

The IBC says bad weather caused more than 3.1 billion insured losses in 2023, the fourth worst year on record.

Craig Stewart reports that while wildfires accounted for a significant portion of the losses, flooding also caused widespread damage across Canada, as did severe hail and wind storms.

The IBC says that the wildfires alone in the Okanagan and Shuswap region of British Columbia cost $720 million in insured losses.

Meanwhile, severe summer storms in Ontario and spring ice storms in Ontario and Quebec resulted in bills totaling $670 million.