​Understand your coverage and how to make a claim in the event of hailstorms.​

​Hailstorms Hit the Prairies the Hardest – Are You Prepared?

The frequency, severity and cost of severe weather events are all rising across the country. From June until September in Alberta and the Prairie provinces, it’s hail season. Homes in this region are being damaged more frequently by hail, heavy rainfall and strong winds.

Due to Alberta’s geography and weather patterns, hailstorms are having a serious impact across the province. In 2014, severe summer storms and hail in Alberta resulted in more than $558 million in insured losses. On July 21, 2015, storms and hail in Rocky Mountain House, Red Deer, Lacombe, Ponoka and Crossfield Alberta accounted for over $259 million in insured losses. And on July 30 – Aug 1, 2016, storms and hail in Calgary, Airdrie, Fort McMurray Alberta; Yorkton, Melville Saskatchewan; and Winnipeg Manitoba caused over $462 million in insured losses. In 2017, severe storms and hail in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba accounted for over $540 million in insured losses. Most recently, the Calgary hailstorm on June 13, 2020 caused apx. 70,000 claims and over $1.2 billion in insured damage.

Cracked Window Glass or Shattered Windshield? What Insurance Covers

Your insurance representative can confirm the coverage in your current policy. Typically, you can expect the following:

  1. Damage to homes caused by hail or wind is usually covered under most home insurance policies. This includes damage caused by flying debris or falling branches or trees, or damage to your home and contents from water entering through openings suddenly caused by wind or hail. Obviously, pre-existing damage is not covered.
  2. Damage to vehicles from wind, hail or water is usually covered if you have purchased comprehensive or all perils car insurance. Note that this coverage is not mandatory.
  3. Damage to mobile homes or trailers from hail or wind may be covered.

​Before the next severe storm strikes, check with your insurance representative to ensure your policies are up to date and serve your particular needs. Review them and ensure you are familiar with specified deductibles, coverage limits and replacement values. If anything is unclear, your insurance representative can provide additional information. 

Tips for Starting the Claim Process

  • Call your insurance representative or company. Most insurers have a 24-hour claims service. Be as detailed as possible when providing information.
  • List all damaged or destroyed items. If possible, assemble proofs of purchase, photos, receipts and warranties. Take photos of damage incurred and keep damaged items unless they pose a health hazard.
  • Keep all receipts related to cleanup and living expenses if you’ve been displaced. Ask your insurance representative about what expenses you may be entitled to and for what period of time. 

How to prepare for severe weather:

  1. Create an emergency preparedness plan for your family.
  2. Secure barbecues and secure/store patio furniture indoors when severe weather is in the forecast.
  3. Park your vehicle in a covered area to prevent damage.
  4. Stay away from windows, doors and skylights during a storm.
  5. Do not drive through flooded intersections or large puddles.
  6. Ensure proper grading around your home.
  7. Have someone check your property if you are away.
  8. Install a sump pump, sewer backup or backflow valve.
  9. Consider resilient building materials when completing repairs.
  10. Know your risks and review your insurance policy with an experienced insurance rep.