Canadian Underwriter

July hailstorm in Calgary caused $247 million in insured damage: CatIQ

August 6, 2021   by Canadian Underwriter Staff

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A massive hailstorm that hit Calgary on July 2 caused $247 million in insured damage, according to initial estimates from Catastrophe Indices and Quantification Inc. (CatIQ).

Hail, rain and wind damage from the severe storm resulted in extensive flooding of streets, underpasses and parking lots, with additional reports of a damaged gas line, downed trees, and sewer backups in basements and commercial buildings, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) reported in a press release Wednesday.

Alberta still tops in costly disasters

Aaron Sutherland, vice president of IBC’s western and pacific regions, said Albertans know the “stress, turmoil and financial hardships” of severe weather events all too well.

Of the 10 most costly disasters in Canada, six were in Alberta.

The devastating hailstorm that hit Calgary last summer is the costliest such event in Canadian history, causing about $1.2 billion in damage. This makes it the province’s fourth costliest natural disaster of all time. The most expensive insured natural catastrophe on record is the 2016 Fort McMurray wildfire, which caused nearly $4 billion in damage. The next highest loss, at $3.5 billion, was in 2013, and included the flooding in southern Alberta.

Switching to resilient roofing

Brokers have been assisting customers who are switching to resilient roofing to help withstand more severe weather.

As of June 1, the City of Calgary has been offering a $3,000 rebate for homeowners who experienced hail damage in 2020 and installed, or plan to install, impact-resistant roofing. As part of their application criteria for the rebate program, homeowners must produce evidence of hail damage from 2020, and brokers continue to assist their customers with this process.

Council approved the Resilient Roofing Rebate program on May 10, which incentivizes upgrades from standard roofing products to impact-resistant products that protect homes from severe weather damage. In January 2022, the program eligibility will expand and accept applications from homeowners who replaced a roof after June 1, 2021 or plan to replace their roof with a certified Class 4 impact-resistant product.

To strengthen risk mitigation, Kris Dietrich, the city’s coordinator for customer solutions, has urged insurance agencies and roofing contractors to work with homeowners on learning more about impact-resistant roofing.


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