Canadian Underwriter

Hub acquires two western Canadian hail insurance providers

March 13, 2023   by Jason Contant

Hailstones the size of golf balls on the ground after a severe storm

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Hub International Limited has acquired two western Canadian crop hail insurance companies within a two-week period.

Hub announced on Mar. 4 it had acquired Leduc, Alta.-based AG Direct Hail Insurance Ltd. It acquired Regina-based Canadian Hail Agencies Inc. on Feb 23. Both companies will join Hub Prairies.

AG Direct Hail Insurance is a managing general agency for Millennium Insurance Corporation. It offers an exclusively online and direct crop hail insurance model for farmers in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, Chicago-based Hub reported in a press release.

“Entering its tenth year, AG Direct Hail Insurance has become one of the dominant crop hail insurance providers, offering an easy-to-use purchasing platform coupled with competitive rates, superior customer service and timely claims handling,” Hub said. AG Direct Hail complements and expands Hub’s specialty product offerings as the brokerage continues to expand its Canadian agribusiness footprint.

For its part, Canadian Hail Agencies has been providing crop hail insurance coverage throughout Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba for more than 20 years. “With its strong industry reputation for service and professional claims handling, Canadian Hail Agencies complements Hub’s core insurance offerings for brokerages as well as independent hail insurance brokers across the Prairies.

In both acquisitions, terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The importance of hail insurance was evident last year following strong storms, including one that produced record-breaking hail. On Aug. 1, 2022, much of Alberta was struck by severe thunderstorms, with hailstones ranging in size from pea-sized to baseball-sized.

Although one claims adjusting firm told Canadian Underwriter at the time the storm didn’t seem to have resulted in that much damage from a claims perspective (it struck a lightly-populated area), it did result in a record-breaking hailstone. With a diameter of 122 mm, the stone has a slightly larger span than a standard DVD.

“We were expecting significant severe hail in Alberta on Monday [Aug. 1, 2022], but not a new national record,” Northern Hail Project executive director Julian Brimelow said of the hailstone found in Markerville, about 35 kilometres southwest of Red Deer.

An Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction report found annual hail damage in Canada totalled $400 million each year on average since 2013.


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