Leveraging flood insurance data for local government use: Survey findings from 59 Canadian cities

Tuesday, December 14, 2021
by Shaieree Cottar
Flood insurance data for local government use report

Is there value in governments accessing flood insurance data (e.g., industry flood maps) and sharing their flood risk data with insurance companies?

A recent study by Andrea Minano, PhD Candidate and Research Manager of the Climate Risk Research Group, found that most municipal officials in 59 cities believe that their city’s flood risk management (FRM) efforts could be improved by accessing flood insurance data. These 59 cities are home to 10.7 million Canadians or 31% of Canada’s national population (2016 census).

Which information is of interest to city officials?

Most participants were interested in accessing the insurance industry’s pluvial (urban) flood hazard maps, and the neighborhoods and postal codes that the insurance industry considers to be high-risk for flooding. Currently, most cities do not have access to any flood insurance data or information.

How could this information become available to cities in the future?

As a potential avenue for integrating available public and private flood risk data, city officials saw utility in a data-sharing platform that could display high-risk areas identified by insurers, enable cities to monitor and compare their progress in FRM with other cities, and share their FRM efforts with upper levels of government.

Findings from this study are informing the development data-sharing platform for enabling the exchange of flood risk and resilience data across sectors. Access the report for more information about the study.