The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) recently released the numbers for insured losses due to a summer of wild storms in Alberta. The total is more than $300 million, according to initial estimates from Catastrophe Indices and Quantification Inc., and within that $300 million is $90 million that went to replacing or repairing storm-damaged vehicles. Insured losses to vehicles in Alberta from severe weather now exceeds $500 million since 2020.
It’s important to note that these numbers do not include the damage caused by continuing wildfires in the province. The figure of $300 million is only due to severe wind, rain, and hail storms that resulted in damage.
“This is the third straight summer in which Alberta has seen significant insured damage from hail, wind, and rain. The trend is clear, and it’s important that consumers work with their insurance representative to ensure they have the right coverage to protect their property or business from the impacts of these storms,” said Aaron Sutherland, the IBC’s vice-president, Pacific and Western.
Major summer storms in Alberta
Quantification Inc. designates severe weather events as “catastrophes,” when the insured damage estimates total more than $30 million. These following storms topped the list for total insurance claims.
Central Alberta flooding — June 18 to 20, 2023 (More than $40 million in insured damage)
Edson, Whitecourt, and Edmonton were among the communities hit hard by heavy rainfall over three days in June, which led to flooding and damaged property and causing a state of emergency to be declared in areas bearing the brunt of the bad weather. In Edmonton, the total rainfall over the three days exceeded the entire monthly average for June.
Alberta and Saskatchewan Canada Day storms — July 1, 2023 (More than $100 million in insured damage
Severe storms across central Alberta and Saskatchewan caused many residents to have to quickly change their Canada Day plans. Near Didsbury, Alberta, one storm produced an EF-4 tornado, the worst in Alberta since 1987. The twister destroyed three homes, made another four uninhabitable and damaged an additional five. The storm then carried on eastward, and its powerful wind gusts then brought down trees and wrecked buildings in Saskatchewan.
Calgary hail storm — July 15, 2023 (More than $110 million in insured damage)
Calgary is no stranger to hail storms. On July 15, large hailstones fell on neighbourhoods in the city’s south and centre areas, damaging the siding and roofs on homes and denting vehicles. Some streets became inaccessible as water pooled on roads and underpasses.
Severe storms on the prairies — July 24 to 26, 2023 (More than $40 million in insured damage)
Late July was ugly for weather in parts of Alberta and Manitoba. A number of thunderstorms produced grapefruit-sized hail, flooded gutters and drains, and caused violent winds, including at least three confirmed tornadoes.
Prepping for major weather events
As climate change continues to wreak havoc around the world, property owners need to be aware of the extent of their home and auto insurance coverage. If you are unsure, you can review your insurance policies with one of our expert insurance brokers to ensure you have adequate coverage for potential damage caused by severe weather. It’s important to always keep well on top of the maintenance and upkeep of your home (especially when it comes to your roof), and to always keep your insurance company apprised of any upgrades or changes you make to your home. Keep copies of your insurance documents in your emergency kit (if you don’t have one, it’s highly advisable to put one together), and keep it well-stocked at all times.
- Modern technology provides real-time updates via mobile apps and weather websites, so you can stay informed on impending events.
- Create and communicate a family emergency plan. Know the evacuation routes in your area and have a designated meeting point in case family members are separated. Practice drills with your family so everyone knows what to do.
- Make your home more resilient to severe weather by reinforcing doors and windows, anchoring heavy furniture, and securing outdoor objects that could become projectiles in high winds.
- Ensure your cell phones are charged, and have backup power sources like portable chargers available. Consider a weather radio for updates in case of power outages.
- Familiarize yourself with local emergency resources and shelters. Know where to go if you need assistance during or after a severe weather event.
- During a severe weather event, remain calm and listen to local authorities. Follow evacuation orders promptly, and don’t take unnecessary risks.
- Look out for your neighbours, especially those who may have difficulty preparing for or dealing with severe weather, such as the elderly or disabled.
- After the event, assess any damage and report it to authorities or your insurance company. Help your community in its recovery efforts if possible.
Trust Lane’s for all your Alberta insurance needs
In addition to working with Alberta’s most trusted insurance carriers, one of the best things about Lane’s Insurance is its staff of knowledgeable insurance brokers who have a wide range of experience in all areas of insurance. We work for you, not the insurance companies, and have access to a number of different policies from a number of different providers, meaning we can hand-pick the perfect policy for you … and at the very best rates.