Disaster Recovery Program Changes
At Alpine Insurance, our team of brokers understands how difficult the road is for our clients who have had to deal with any disaster to their properties. We’re here to help guide you with information. The Government of Alberta has made some important changes to the province’s Disaster Recovery Program (DRP) that we would like our clients to be aware of. (Original source: https://open.alberta.ca/publications/disaster-recovery-program-changes#summary)
The Disaster Recovery Program (DRP) provides financial assistance to qualifying applicants to help restore uninsurable property lost or damaged by a disaster to its basic, pre-disaster functional condition.
DRPs provide financial assistance as a last resort to assist those affected by a disaster.
For DRPs that occur in 2021, the Government of Alberta has set homeowner funding limits and implemented cost-sharing mechanisms between the government and program applicants.
Why changes were made
The cost and frequency of disasters in Alberta are increasing, and the province needs a more sustainable approach to disaster recovery. By implementing a stronger framework to deal with emergencies and disasters, these changes help ensure the DRP can continue to be available for Albertans when they need it most.
The province is implementing a homeowner funding limit of up to $500,000 per application for eligible costs and a limit of one-time assistance per property, regardless of the transfer of ownership. The one-time funding limit is not cumulative, so if an applicant has received any amount of assistance under the new policy, they would not qualify for funding in the future.
Establishing a homeowner funding limit helps government reinforce the intent of the DRP, which is to contribute to a ready and resilient Alberta and be the payer of last resort. Homeowners may choose to opt out of receiving DRP assistance if they are able to cover damages on their own. This would allow their property to qualify for future assistance if a DRP is approved in their community and they meet the program qualification criteria at that time.
Limits to properties
- Limits to assistance are applied to the property address only, not the applicant.
- A new property owner will not qualify for DRP assistance if the previous owner already accessed the one-time funding limit.
Posting addresses online
- If a homeowner applicant accessed funding through a DRP for a disaster that occurred in 2021 and onward, the property address and legal land description will be posted on the Government of Alberta website. The post will indicate that the address (legal land description) is not eligible for future DRP funding.
- This will help prospective buyers and developers become aware of funding limits that apply to specific addresses.
Cost-sharing mechanisms for municipalities and private-sector applicants are based on a 90:10 formula, where the province covers 90 percent of eligible disaster costs and the applicant covers the remaining 10 percent.
- Purchase adequate insurance.
- Have reserve funds.
- Invest in mitigation and infrastructure maintenance.
- Restrict future property development in high-risk areas.
Living in high-risk areas
Albertans living in high-risk areas may experience a natural disaster of one kind or another. The Government of Alberta continues to provide DRP assistance to all qualifying applicants; however, homeowners living in high-risk areas are encouraged to consider relocating or mitigating risks to their properties.
Flood maps are available at https://floods.alberta.ca/.
It is important for Albertans to become educated about their disaster risks and ensure they are adequately insured. There are more insurance options on the market now than ever before.
(Speak to one of our brokers at Alpine Insurance for options available to you)
Homeowners living in high-risk areas who are not able to access overland flood insurance are also subject to the cost-sharing and one-time funding limit.
Financial assistance for disaster recovery continues to be available to eligible applicants to help cover costs related to uninsurable loss and damages.
Federal government disaster assistance
Since 2015, the federal government has significantly reduced federal support through the Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements. This has increased the provincial liability for DRP costs. In addition to this, the federal government does not typically reimburse for repeat assistance in flood-prone areas.
For more information: alberta.ca/drp ©2021 Government of Alberta | Published: February 2021
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