A representative of the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) has said that reconstruction efforts in Fort McMurray are missing the entire point of rebuilding properties damaged by the previous catastrophic wildfire incident.
“As they rebuild those homes, they’re rebuilding them largely the same way they were, with the same materials that burned,” said IBC vice-president Bill Adams.
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The wildfire incident last year destroyed over 2,400 properties and forced almost 90,000 people to evacuate the area.
Adams was at the Conference Board of Canada on Tuesday, CBC reported, and explained that part of the problem is that the economic downturn following the disaster does not leave homeowners with enough funds – funds that could have been used to upgrade houses with fire-safe materials.
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“There’s not a lot of people who have a lot of extra money that they can invest now while they’re rebuilding to make those improvements,” he stated. “Insurance, which is paying the bulk of the costs for rebuilding the community, only provides enough money to put you back in your pre-existing condition.”
He suggested that homeowners might be forgoing fire-resilient upgrades because it would mean giving up features such as granite countertops and basements.
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