Canadian Underwriter

Calgary hail damage ‘pretty startling’ to this adjuster

June 19, 2020   by Greg Meckbach

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If you have clients in the Calgary area who suffered property damage in the June 13 hail storm, they could be waiting a while to get their properties repaired, an executive for one independent adjusting firm suggests.

“There are tens of thousands of residences impacted and there is simply is not enough capacity to engage and effect immediate repairs on that number of damaged structures,” said Walter Waugh, vice president of operations for Western Canada at Crawford & Company (Canada) Inc.

Some Calgary neighbourhoods were hit the evening of June 13 with hail the size of tennis balls, the CP reported earlier.

The photos of the damage are “pretty startling,” Crawford Canada chief client officer Greg Smith told Canadian Underwriter Thursday. “You can’t believe that damage was caused by hail when you look at it.”

Quite often in a thunderstorm, hail drops due to gravity, said Glenn McGillivray, managing director of the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction.

“In this case we had downbursts,” McGillivray said of the June 13 Calgary-area storm. “It acts like a sandblasting effect.”

As a result, there is widespread damage to roofs, siding and “basically anything that is exposed,” Waugh said in an interview Thursday.

“It looks rather war-torn. Damage is extensive and widespread across nine communities,” he observed. “All of the general contractors and roofing and siding exterior contractors are running flat out.”

Crawford is hearing from building contractors that they are still responding to customer orders, suggested Waugh. But contractors are also reporting that in some cases, repairs — such as roof and siding replacement — will likely not be completed in 2020.

So the top priority is making temporary repairs — such as putting tarps on roofs — to make structures water-tight, said Waugh.

Not only is there damage to tens of thousands of homes, but there is also damage to commercial property and condominium structures.

“We are tracking multiple claims in excess of $1 million and in some cases, $2 million and $3 million per structure. Aside from the residential impact, which is where the volume is, there are also dozens of large losses, potentially hundreds, that are impacted,” said Waugh.

“This is going to add up and it’s going to add up pretty fast,” said ICLR’s McGillivray.

ICLR has not done its own estimate of insured losses, but McGillivray is speculating it will be much more than the $583 million that the 2014 Airdrie, Alta. hail storm cost the P&C industry.


Feature Image: The Canadian Press/Jeff McIntosh

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1 Comment » for Calgary hail damage ‘pretty startling’ to this adjuster
  1. Filip says:

    Very interested to see how all these significant losses will affect insurance companies.

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