August hail storm in Alberta tops $450 million in insured damage

Insurance payments from natural catastrophes reach $4 billion in the province since 2011

EDMONTON, Sept. 4, 2014 /CNW/ - A major storm that brought heavy rain, wind and hail to southern Alberta on August 7th and 8th caused an estimated $450 million in insured damage according to Property Claim Services (PCS). This recent storm brings insurance payments from natural catastrophes to $4 billion in Alberta since 2011.

"While the frequency and severity of weather events have been rising across the country, Alberta has been hardest hit," explained Bill Adams, Vice-President, Western and Pacific, IBC. "What's more is that we are not out of the woods yet, Alberta hail season traditionally runs through the end of September."

The intense storm at the beginning of August brushed Calgary and struck Airdrie and surrounding areas, including Rocky Mountain House and Red Deer, with torrential rains and both golf-ball and tennis-ball-sized hail.

"This storm damaged tens of thousands of cars and homes. As such, some insurers brought in claims staff from other provinces and the United States to help those affected and to process claims," explained Adams. "Claims adjusters, body shops and contractors continue to assess and repair damages. Anyone who was affected is encouraged to contact their insurance representative as soon as possible to begin the claims process."

Recent Alberta Weather-Related Events

While many events cause damages that result in insurance claims for homes, cars and businesses, those that are reported on by PCS must reach a threshold of $25 million and are thus deemed natural catastrophes by the insurance industry. Below are the natural catastrophes and their estimated insured damage that have occurred in Alberta since 2011:  

August 2014 – A severe wind, rain and hail storm resulted in $450 million in insured damage in Airdrie and surrounding communities.

June 2013 – Severe weather events including the flooding in southern Alberta caused over $1.7 billion in insured damage.

August 2012 – the Calgary region and surrounding areas were hit with wind and thunderstorm resulted in insured damage of more than $535 million.

July 2012 – Insured damage of over $100 million was caused by an Edmonton wind and thunderstorm.

July 2012 –Severe wind and thunderstorm from Cardston to Nanton, Alberta caused over $71 million in insured damage.

November 2011 – Wind and thunderstorm in Alberta caused more than $230 million in insured damage.

July 2011Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan wind and thunderstorm cost over $190 million in insured damage.

May 2011 – Serious fire in Slave Lake, Alberta had estimated insured damage of more than $717 million

Preparing for Severe Weather 

As the frequency of severe weather increases, it's important to ensure you and your family are prepared. Severe storms can develop quickly and are unpredictable. Be sure to check off the following steps to help prepare and protect your family and property:

IBC encourages everyone to check with their insurance providers to ensure policies are up to date and serve their needs. For further information about home and auto insurance consumers can also contact IBC's Consumer Information Centre at 1-800-377-6378 or visit ibc.ca.

About Insurance Bureau of Canada

Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is pleased to celebrate 50 years as a valuable resource for insurance information. Since 1964, IBC has been working with governments across Canada to make our communities safer, championing issues that directly affect Canadians and the property and casualty (P&C) insurance industry. IBC is the national industry association representing Canada's private home, car and business insurers. Its member companies represent 90% of the private P&C insurance market in Canada. The P&C insurance industry employs over 118,600 Canadians, pays more than $7 billion in taxes and levies to the federal, provincial and municipal governments, and has a total premium base of $48 billion.

To view media releases and other information, visit the media section of IBC's website at www.ibc.ca. Follow IBC on Twitter @InsuranceBureau and @IBC_West or like us on Facebook.

If you require more information, IBC spokespeople are available to discuss the details in this media release.

SOURCE Insurance Bureau of Canada

For further information: To schedule an interview, please contact: Celyeste Power, Manager, Media Relations, 416-362-2031 ext. 4312 (office), 647-384-9872 (after hours), cpower@ibc.ca