Government of Canada Reintroduces Floodplain Maps
In the 1990s, the Canadian Government maintained a floodplain map that outlined floodplain regions across the nation in detail. The program was cut from the Federal budget in 1996. However, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Ralph Goodale, recently announced that the program will be reinstated due to an increase in global flooding.
While a floodplain mapping program could come with many benefits, first and foremost being advanced knowledge of where floods are most likely to strike, the plan is not without controversy. Home owners who own property that rests on a floodplain may find that their insurance premiums spike due to this designation. This has some people upset because with little more than the implementation of a program, they suddenly have to pay more out of their own pocket, even if they never experience a flood.
A further concern regarding floodplain maps is their potential to devalue a home. Dr. Blair Feltmate of the Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation says, “All of a sudden you have a $1 million home that is stigmatized and devalued down to half its current value where it’s unsellable” (insurancebusinessmag.com). Anyone who owns a home on a piece of land that is designated by a “flood plain” may have a hard time selling it for anything but a loss in the future.
Environment Canada’s research
Environment Canada supports this new initiative and plans to implement it using data from the past as well as more recent environmental and watershed studies from across the country. The first iteration of the Federal Floodplain Mapping Framework has already been released, with further additions to follow. The framework as it stands right now was developed after consultation with provincial and territorial governments. Environment Canada states that, “The publication of the Framework will contribute to better addressing overland flooding – Canada’s costliest hazard – by strengthening floodplain mapping across the country” (publicsafety.gc.ca).
There’s always insurance
Whether or not you agree with the Government’s floodplain mapping program, we can all agree that overland flooding is a real problem in some areas and that it can be very destructive. Did you know that one of the optional home insurance features that you can purchase through Cooke Insurance is Flood & Earthquake Damage? That’s right! So, if you do live in an area that’s prone to overland flooding, why not protect yourself with coverage that will kick in the moment you need it. Floodplain maps or not, that just makes sense.
Contact Cooke Insurance today for more information!