Canadian Underwriter

The SPECS Blog – Storm Season is Approaching!

April 10, 2013   by SPECS (Specialized Property Evaluation Control Services)

Every year, thousands of homes and businesses experience damage due to summer storms.  The issues are particularly severe in the Prairie Provinces where sudden thunderstorms can give rise to damaging hail and wind.  While the problems seem to be most severe in Alberta and Saskatchewan the issues are not limited to these two provinces.

When storms hit, the response time is short and focused.  Cat teams must respond to meet the needs of the insured to quickly mitigate damage and restore the property to its pre-loss condition.  There are many issues that arise when assessing damage including:

  • – Age and condition of the structure prior to loss
  • – New damage or pre-existing hail or wind damage?
  • – Extent of the damage – one face of the roof or all?
  • – Other site damage as a result of the storm


  • When these storms strike, the damage can be widespread or focused depending on the nature of the storm.  Insurers are using many different models to help predict the intensity, frequency and likely locations of the storm damage to quickly set reserves and assign the appropriate resources. 


  • How can SPECS Appraisers help?


  • SPECS has assembled a team of appraisers and inspectors to work through the upcoming storm season.  Our team has the experience and knowledge to quickly assess and report to your adjusters on the nature and condition of structures that may have been damaged by hail or wind.  Most members of the team are HAAG Certified meaning they are up to date and knowledgeable in all aspects of roof damage.

Using our proprietary software applications our appraisers can issue inspection reports before they leave the site (Internet access required).  The on site system is pre-populated with all of the data regarding the claim thereby eliminating data accuracy errors.  State of the art site tools allow for quick and accurate sketches of the building to be created in Xactimate format complete with material and labour calculations.  Reports can be customized to suit your needs.

CAT Tracker

For each insurer who elects to use SPECS to provide independent analysis and appraisal of storm damage SPECS will provide a secure web enabled interface to track and monitor all claims assigned to SPECS.  With 24/7 access to your claims and up to date status reporting the SPECS system is your complete tool for storm management.

Adaptation of New Technologies

SPECS has always been an adopter of new technology in order to provide the best value for our clients.  Much has been written regarding the use of aerial and satellite technology to calculate roofing materials data.  We have reviewed the performance of many of these applications and compared those results against our own appraisal methods and the variances are quite small.  We see these technologies as a valuable tool when more buildings are available through these applications.  While the savings may be small on an individual basis the costs can add up quickly in a large volume claim situation.  SPECS is prepared to work with these technologies today where the information is available.

For more information on SPECS’s Storm Programs please contact Neal Thunder Chief @ 403-942-3077 or visit our website

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