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Weathering the hailstorm: Preparing for the season ahead

April 25, 2024 | By: Rob de Pruis, National Director, Consumer and Industry Relations, IBC
Weathering the hailstorm: Preparing for the season ahead

Hailstorms and other natural disasters are increasing in frequency and severity. With today’s extreme weather events, insured catastrophic losses in Canada now routinely exceed $2 billion annually. The Calgary hailstorm on June 13, 2020, resulted in approximately 70,000 insurance claims and over $1.3 billion in insured damages. The majority of the insured damage was to homes and vehicles, with a smaller percentage to commercial property. It was the costliest hailstorm in Canadian history.

Reducing the impact of damaging hail

According to the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction’s (ICLR’s) HailSmart Program, once hailstones are about the size of a quarter or larger, they can cause extensive damage to vehicles, homes and other structures.

So, how do we prevent hail from becoming so destructive? The Alberta Severe Weather Management Society, a non-profit organization established by the province’s property and casualty insurers, has turned to cloud-seeding programs to reduce insured damage in areas at high risk of severe hailstorms.

Cloud seeding is a technique to modify the weather. An aircraft “seeds” clouds with substances, for example silver iodide particles, that alter clouds’ properties and can help reduce the size and amount of damaging hailstones. Although cloud seeding will have varying degrees of success because it depends on many difficult-to-control variables, this technique can help reduce damage to public infrastructure and personal property.  

Speak with your insurance representative

One of the most important proactive steps you can take to safeguard your home and property from hail damage is to speak with your insurance representative before hail season arrives.

Your insurance representative will help you understand the types of damages covered under your homeowner’s or tenant’s insurance policy, such as damage caused by flying debris or falling branches or trees, or damage from rain entering through openings caused by wind or hail. Make sure you tell your insurance representative if you’ve made any improvements or updates to your home, such as installing a new roof with impact-resistant shingles.

Not all car insurance policies cover hail damage. Confirm with your insurance representative that you have optional comprehensive coverage, which protects your vehicle from damage caused by common insurance perils, including fire, high winds and hail.

Your insurance representative can also explain the process of filing a claim, the documentation you’ll need and the timeline for processing your claim. Having this information in advance ensures a smoother experience if you ever need to make a hail-related claim.

If you need further information about home, business or car insurance, contact IBC's Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2ask-IBC (1-844-227-5422) or

For more tips to mitigate or prevent hail damage, visit our Hail Protection page.

About This Author

In his 30 years in the insurance industry, Rob de Pruis has held various senior leadership positions in claims and risk management at some of Canada’s leading insurance companies. As National Director, Consumer and Industry Relations, Rob oversees the activities of IBC’s Consumer Information Centres across the country, and leads the internal coordination of natural disaster preparation and response while liaising with IBC’s member companies. Rob also facilitates collaboration between the insurance industry and relevant stakeholders on special projects and initiatives, and acts as IBC’s corporate spokesperson on consumer-related issues.