Insurers Urge Albertans to Prepare for the 2021 Hail Season

April 27, 2021 (EDMONTON) – June to September is hail season in Alberta. Homes are being damaged more frequently not only by hail, but also by heavy rainfall and strong winds. In preparation of this year's hail season, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is sharing tips and information to help consumers protect themselves and their property.

During a severe weather event, such as a hailstorm, everyone's priority must be their own safety, and the safety of their loved ones and neighbours. With the COVID-19 pandemic still being a major factor across Canada, there is a greater need for Albertans to plan ahead and be prepared.

Be prepared

  • Assemble an emergency supply kit.
  • Create an emergency preparedness plan for your household.
  • Monitor the local weather forecasts and Alberta Emergency Alerts for watches and warnings for thunderstorms (which often include hail).
  • Know your risks and review your insurance policy with your insurance representative. 
  • Keep a current, detailed inventory of your home's contents.

How to get ready for severe weather

  • Secure barbecues, and secure or store patio furniture indoors when severe weather is in the forecast.
  • Park your vehicle in a covered area.
  • Ensure proper grading around your home.
  • Have someone check your property if you are away.
  • Install a sump pump, and a sewer backup or backflow valve.
  • Consider resilient building materials when completing repairs.

How to protect yourself before and during a storm

  • Stay away from windows, doors and skylights during a storm.
  • Do not drive through flooded intersections or large puddles.
  • Watch for flooded areas. Excessive hail combined with heavy rain can plug storm drains and create local flooding.
  • If driving, find a place to safely pull off roadways and protect yourself from shattered glass by facing away from all windows.
  • If you are caught outdoors with no immediately available shelter, crouch down, face away from the wind and protect your head and neck with your hands.

If you need to make a claim, here's how to start the process

  • When safe to do so, assess, photograph and document the damage.
  • Call your insurance representative or company to report the damage or losses.
  • Be as detailed as possible when providing information of the damage to you property.
  • Water damage to vehicles is usually covered under comprehensive or all-perils auto insurance policies. Contact your insurance representative for details. 
  • If you need help getting in touch with your insurer, phone IBC's Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2ask-IBC (1-844-227-5422) or email askibcwest@ibc.ca.

This decade, Alberta has experienced more severe weather events than any other region in Canada. Taxpayers and insurers share the cost for severe weather damage. For every dollar paid in insurance claims for damaged homes and businesses, all levels of government and taxpayers pay much more to repair public infrastructure. Yet Canada still lacks a national climate adaptation strategy with measurable targets and the accompanying investments needed to protect Canadian homes and businesses from natural disasters.

Canadians continue to experience accelerating financial losses from the changing climate. In 2020, the federal government created the Task Force on High-Risk Residential Flood Insurance and Strategic Relocation. Through this task force, insurers will work with governments across the country to better protect properties from flooding and to ensure that every Canadian has access to affordable flood insurance. Currently, this is a standalone effort. IBC believes it should be part of a larger climate adaptation plan that coordinates action by governments and the private sector to address the growing physical risks of climate change.

Visit IBC's website at ibc.ca for information on ways to prepare for a hailstorm.

Quotes

"The hailstorms that hit Calgary and the surrounding area last June were the worst our province has ever seen and caused over $1.3 billion in insured damage. They were the fourth most-expensive natural disaster in Canadian history and serve as an important reminder of the need to improve our physical and financial preparedness for such events. If consumers have insurance questions, they should contact their representative or reach out to IBC at 1-844-2ask-IBC. Insurers are here to help."
~ Aaron Sutherland, Acting Vice-President Pacific and Western, Insurance Bureau of Canada

"Calgary's unique location means we are susceptible to many different hazards. Summer storms with hail can be particularly dangerous and destructive. Last year we saw these impacts first hand, but there are things you can do now to be prepared. We encourage all Calgarians to sign up for weather alerts, learn about the hazards you are vulnerable to and take the necessary steps to prepare."
~ Susan Henry, Chief, Calgary Emergency Management Agency

"Your insurance broker can make sure you have the right coverage to fit your needs. Speak to your broker before severe weather hits. We're here to help."
~ George Hodgson, CEO, Insurance Brokers Association of Alberta

"Hail damage can be prevented or reduced. When building, use hail-resilient materials for your home and Class 4 impact resistant shingles. These materials can make a difference in protecting your home during a severe weather event."
~ Glenn McGillivray, Managing Director, Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction

Top 10 Tips - Severe Weather


Translated media release:

​About Insurance Bureau of Canada

Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is the national industry association representing Canada's private home, auto and business insurers. Its member companies make up 90% of the property and casualty insurance market in Canada. For more than 50 years, IBC has worked with governments across the country to help make affordable home, auto and business insurance available for all Canadians. IBC champions key issues and helps educate consumers on how best to protect their homes, cars, businesses and properties.

For media releases and more information, visit IBC's Media Centre at ibc.ca. Follow us on Twitter @IBC_West or like us on Facebook. If you have a question about home, auto or business insurance, contact IBC's Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2ask-IBC.