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Crop hail insurance claims on the rise in Prairies


July 18, 2012   by Canadian Underwriter


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Crop hail claims are off to a brisk start in Saskatchewan, based on the latest figures from the Canadian Crop Hail Association, published in the July 6, 2012 edition of the Hail Report.

Companies providing hail insurance to farmers reported approximately 2,200 claims filed by the middle of the week of July 2-6. “This is at least double the typical number for this date,” the Hail Report notes. “Claims continue to pour in from storms on July 1 to 3, so the number will continue to grow.”

The main storm dates were June 15, 17 and 26 — the last date producing the greatest number of claims so far. A tornado reportedly touched down southwest of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan on June 26.

The Hail Report notes a significant number of hail claims in Alberta as well. “Although the claim total of 660 is not nearly as high as Saskatchewan, there have already been many hail events in Alberta, particularly in southern regions. Many of the early claims only had canola with enough damage for payouts.”

Hail claims are also escalating quickly in Manitoba, the Hail Report notes. As of early July, the total number of claims approached 500.

“The single largest storm [in Manitoba] occurred early on July 4 in close proximity to the U.S. border, including areas near Tilston, Lyleton, Deloraine, Boissevain, Mather, Cartwright, Killarney and Snowflake,” the report notes. “The damage is reported as extremely severe in some locations. The hail was accompanied by strong winds and up to four inches of rain. This storm is expected to significantly increase the claim total.”

The Canadian Crop Hail Association notes hail damage is difficult to assess in the early part of the growing season since the crops have a “tremendous ability to recover.” Depending on the stage of the crop and extent of the damage, some companies will defer claim adjustments to later in the season to better determine the extent of the loss.

The association represents 11 member companies that sell crop hail insurance to producers in Western Canada.