The June hail storm that battered Calgary will be the costliest event of its kind for insurers.
Tennis-ball sized hail, saw vinyl siding shredded on multiple homes in northeast and southeast Calgary. Roofs were pummelled and windows smashed, and cars were left on roads due to massive flash flooding.
The damage left many homeowners wondering if their insurance would cover the repairs.
According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, the storm was the fourth-highest insured damage event that Canada has ever seen. Mayor Naheed Nenshi suggested just after the event that it would easily be a top five insured natural disaster.
“This event was fourth most expensive insured natural disaster in Canadian history. Our thoughts are with those affected by this devastating storm, and we are here to help Albertans fix their homes, cars and businesses,” said Celyeste Power, Vice-President, Western, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC).
The majority of the damage was to private homes and vehicles.
The damage was massive
Some of the worst damage occurred in the northeast community of Saddle Ridge.
Ward 5 city councillor George Chahal tweeted that nearly 550,000 kilograms of waste was removed from the neighbourhood. Coun. Chahal said the repairs presented an opportunity for people to rebuild with more resilient materials. He said he would advocate for support to help homeowners.
On June 25, Premier Jason Kenney said that the storm would fall under the Disaster Relief Program (DRP).
Kenney said uninsured damages to private property would be paid for by the government, but that insurance companies need to stand up.
The Insurance Bureau of Canada said most hail damage is covered by insurance companies.
While many Calgarians feel assured that their insurance will cover repair costs, they fear that their deductibles will sky rocket due to the claims.
Alberta has seen its share of recent natural disasters
In 2014, the wildfires in Fort McMurray cost almost the government nearly $4 billion and the 2013 Alberta floods cost $3.5 billion.
“Albertans know too well the stress, turmoil and financial hardships that severe weather events can cause. Of the 10 most costly disasters in Canada, six of these have hit Alberta,” said Power.