Canadian Underwriter

Nearly $90 million in insured losses from Western Canada thunderstorm system: PCS

August 15, 2016   by Canadian Underwriter

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Insured property damage from a thunderstorm system July 18-20 in Western Canada is pegged, in a preliminary estimate, at $89.06 million, Verisk Analytics Inc.’s Property Claims Services unit reported.

stormy cloudy sky with lightning“In Alberta, thunderstorms brought strong winds, heavy rain and hail primarily in the southern regions,” PCS said in a catastrophe bulletin of the weather event. “Residents of Medicine Hat and Dunmore received hail up to golf ball size during the storms which caused damage to residences, commercial buildings and vehicles.”

The storms “produced a swath of large hail, intense rain and damaging straight line winds,” added PCS.

A tornado was spotted west of Davidson, Sask., PCS stated, adding that “hail the size of golf balls and baseballs were reported near Outlook and Saskatoon.”

In Manitoba, an EF1 tornado touched down in Long Plain First Nation and surrounding area. Forty-seven homes were “seriously damaged.”

Vehicle damage includes broken windshields, broken mirrors, body damage and, in some cases, flood damage, PCS suggested.

About 48,000 were without power “at height of the storm,” including 16,000 in Winnipeg, PCS said. Brandon was hit by 4.5-cm hail.

PCS designated the event as Catastrophe No. 58. PCS said it will re survey the event in about 60 days.

The $89.06 million estimate “represents anticipated insured loss on an industry wide basis,” PCS said. The figure is a judgment of “total insured payment for personal and commercial property lines of insurance covering fixed property, personal property, time element losses, vehicles, boats and related property items.”

PCS defines a catastrophe as one that causes US$25 million or more “in direct insured losses to property and affect a significant number of policyholders and insurers.” The firm collects data on disasters in the U.S. (including the U.S. territories of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands) and Canada.