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Each year, insurers pay out a high percentage of their revenues in claims. In 2017, that figure was 60 percent according to the Insurance Bureau of Canada. By far, most of the money paid out in claims was in the auto insurance sector, but companies also compensated for insured losses in personal property, liability and other areas.

As a consumer, it may be interesting to know where the risk lies. When insurers pay out a claim, it's a sign you could one day suffer a similar loss. What follows is just a sampling of where the dollars are spent in claim payouts. Some are expected, while others may make you scratch your head.

Home Insurance: Water Damage

The highest amount of money paid out under home insurance policies is for water damage. Exact estimates vary, but it's nearly the majority of all claims. Figures include the 50 percent quoted by Desjardins Group in 2018 and 48 percent by Canadian Institute of Actuaries in 2014.

What's causing all that water damage? Bathroom leaks, toilets and showers that don't drain, corroded pipes, and aging fixtures can all lead to insurable losses. Of course, there's also roof leakage, flooding, and plumbing damage.

Auto Insurance: Health Care

Most individuals who have been in a car accident know it takes a toll on health. While some medical expenses are covered by provincial plans, insurers taken on a substantial cost when it comes to rehabilitation. The figure totals $2 billion annually, according to the Insurance Bureau of Canada.

That figure is the total cost to insurers, including the accident benefit provisions as well as legal settlements and government levies.

Home Insurance: Hail

You probably know when you're caught in a hailstorm, by the sometimes-painful spikes falling on your head. Hail isn't quite snow, isn't quite rain, and can cause real damage to your home. Hail is becoming a bigger and bigger factor in insurance payouts, especially as the result of severe weather events. Back in 2013, a series of hail events in southern Alberta, Calgary and Edmonton resulted in a whopping $732 million in insurance claims.

Home Insurance: Trees

A tree-lined property may be idyllic; until something ends up broken. Insurance typically covers damage from wind, including flying debris and tree branches. It is just another example of how risks abound -- and you may not even think too much about them.

The Catch-All: Other

The number of risks that exist on the road or at home are almost uncountable. As a policy holder, your coverage may include personal liability for such unpredictable risks as dog bites or a neighbor slipping and falling on your property. Not knowing what may happen is a good reason to play it safe and communicate with your insurer.

Know Your Insurance: Compare Rates and Coverage

Whether you're a first-time homeowner, a new driver, or a seasoned insurance consumer, you can learn more about your options on Rates.ca. No matter what risk applies to you, you deserve to have the coverage that protects you and your family.


The RATESDOTCA editorial team are experienced writers focused on sharing stories and bringing you the latest news in insurance and personal finance. Our goal is to provide Canadians with the information and resources they need to make better insurance and financial decisions.

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