The beginning of June marks the beginning of hail season, which generally runs until September in Alberta and the Prairie provinces. Severe storms with hail, lightning, strong winds and heavy rain are unpredictable and can strike quickly with devastating results. Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) reminds residents to be aware and take action to prepare for potentially damaging storms.
Car owners and homeowners should check with their Insurance Brokeres before a severe storm strikes to ensure that their policies are up to date and serve their particular needs.
“It’s a fact that the frequency, severity and cost of severe weather are on the rise all across Canada,” says Bill Adams, IBC Vice-President, Western and Pacific. “We’re certainly seeing this in Alberta and the Prairie provinces where homes are being damaged more frequently by hail, heavy rainfall and strong winds, which makes it critical for people to know how to protect themselves and their property,” he adds.
According to Mr. Adams, hailstorms have had a serious impact in Alberta, in particular, because of its geography and weather patterns. In 2012, severe storms in the province resulted in more than $700 million in insured losses. In 2011, storms and hail accounted for another $380 million in insured losses. Severe storms with crop-damaging hail have also had a significant impact in Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
Are you covered?
Talk to your Insurance Broker to make sure you have appropriate coverage.
- 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 caused by wind or hail. Pre-existing damage is not covered.
- Damage to vehicles from wind, hail or water is usually covered if you have purchased comprehensive or all perils auto insurance. This coverage isn't mandatory, so check your policy.
- Damage to mobile homes or trailers from hail or wind may be covered. Policy wordings vary, so it’s best to check with your Insurance Broker.
Tips for starting the claims process
- Contact your Insurance Broker or the nearest Wawanesa Insurance Branch or Service Office to report your claim. 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. Wawanesa's Personal Property Inventory form is a great resource you can use to for guide you through this process.
- Keep all receipts related to cleanup and living expenses if you’ve been displaced. Ask your Insurance Broker about what expenses you’re entitled to and for what period of time.
- Review your policy to ensure you are familiar with specified deductibles, coverage limits and replacement values. Talk to your Insurance Broker if anything is unclear.
Source: Insurance Bureau of Canada