CALGARY — The staggering cost of southern Alberta's flood has set the Canadian record for the costliest natural disaster, surpassing $1.7 billion.
The Insurance Bureau of Canada said the latest estimate of insured property damage caused by the June deluge passed the record of $1.574 billion from the ice storm in Quebec, Ontario and New Brunswick in 1998.
IBC vice-president Bill Adams said the number is staggering and he expects it to go even higher.
"We do anticipate it to go higher largely because of the nature of some of the claims and it's just very difficult at this point to say what they're finally going to be settled at," he said.
"While the monetary cost of the floods is huge, the emotional toll on Albertans is incalculable."
More than 25,000 claims have been filed in the aftermath of the flood that crippled communities.
Adams said there's no official breakdown yet for what sort of claims were made, but sewer backups at people's houses topped the list, followed by damage to businesses and vehicles.
Part of the reason why the cost estimate remains preliminary is ongoing business claims, he said.
For example, some businesses are still being assisted by insurance until their sales return to pre-flood levels.
Adams said it's difficult to tell how long those businesses will rely on insurance assistance.
The current overall flood cost estimate for the City of Calgary sits at $530 million, including $460 million in infrastructure damage and $70 million in overtime claims and lost revenue.
Torrential rainfall between June 20 and 24 caused the flooding, which killed four people and forced 100,000 people from their homes.