Edmonton hailstorm causes $90 million in insured damages

EDMONTON – The hailstorm that hit the Edmonton area on Aug. 2 caused an estimated $90 million in insured damages, according to Catastrophe Indices and Quantification (CatIQ).

The storm started with heavy rain, followed by thunderstorms and heavy winds that reached 91 km/hr. Large hail damaged house siding and vehicles in west Edmonton, Spruce Grove and Stony Plain. The storm also damaged crops northwest of Edmonton.

“Severe weather is causing headaches for homeowners and is costing insurers, governments and Albertans significantly,” said Celyeste Power, vice-president, Western, IBC.

“Last year, insured damage from severe weather across Canada reached $2 billion, the fourth-highest amount of annual losses on record.”

Unlike the 2013 Calgary floods or the 2016 Fort McMurray wildfire, no single event caused the high amount paid out for 2018’s losses.

Type of Insurance CoverageInsured Damages*
Personal Property$39.5 million
Commercial Property$3.4 million
Auto$46.9 million
* initial estimates

As the financial cost of a changing climate has increased, IBC is working closely with governments at all levels to advocate for increased investment to mitigate the future impacts of extreme weather and build resilience to its damaging effects. This includes advocating for investment in new infrastructure to protect communities from floods and fires, improved building codes, better land-use planning and, increasingly, creation of incentives to shift the development of homes and businesses away from areas of highest risk.

It is not only insurers that foot the bill for severe weather damage, but also taxpayers, said Power. That’s why all stakeholders should come together to reduce the financial strain caused by flood and other severe weather events. For every dollar paid out in insurance claims for damaged homes and businesses, Canadian governments and their taxpayers pay much more to recover public infrastructure damaged by severe weather.

-reporter@albertapressleader.ca

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