Summer storms can be a magnificent spectacle, with thunder and lightning providing a stunning light show, and heavy rain providing much-needed refreshment for gardens and lawns. However, these storms can also cause significant damage to properties, leading to costly insurance claims. We will explore some of our Prairie Summer Storms and why they are bad for insurance.
- Hailstorms can often bring significant damage from their hail stones. These are incredibly damaging to roofs, windows, farm crops, vehicles and other parts of a property. Hail can cause dents in metal roofs, eaves, fascia, shatter windows, and damage exterior siding. This type of damage can be costly to repair and can result in homeowners making significant claims on their insurance policies. An example of this is the Calgary Hailstorm of June 2020 with damages exceeding $1.3 billion. Approximately 70,000 insurance claims were filed.
- Flooding can cause significant damage to properties, including damage to flooring, walls, and furniture. Erosion of land and crop damage can be significant as well, typically caused from heavy rainfall. Unfortunately, flood damage is not always covered under standard homeowner’s insurance policies, and separate flood insurance may be necessary. An example of this, of course, was the flooding in Calgary, High River flooding in 2013 amounting to $6 billion in financial losses. There have been many floods caused by the Red River in Manitoba and the latest flood that washed our the Highway 1 by Abbotsford and Chilliwack, British Columbia which flooded the Sumas Prairie flooding farms and house with $2 billion in losses.
- Summer storms can also bring high winds. Windstorms can cause trees to fall, grain bins to topple and it can use debris as a weapon. High winds can also damage roofs, siding, and windows, and can even lift shingles off of roofs, resulting in costly repairs. In Grenfell, SK – they had significant damages caused by tornadoes and plow winds in 2022.
- Summer storms can also result in power outages, which can cause significant inconvenience for homeowners and businesses. In addition to the inconvenience, power outages can also result in the spoilage of food in refrigerators and freezers, which can result in additional insurance claims and business interruption losses.
- Lightning Damage can cause damage in a variety of ways. Whether by starting wildfires/forest fires or damage directly to outbuildings, homes and other property. Lightning damage can also destroy electronics, appliances and other equipment resulting in additional claims on property insurance policies.
So, what can you do to protect your home from these storms and avoid potential insurance issues?
- To prevent storm damage, it’s important to maintain your property regularly. This includes trimming trees and shrubs, fixing loose or damaged roofing, and keeping gutters and downspouts free of debris.
- Make sure you understand your insurance policy’s coverage limits, deductibles, and exclusions. If you have any questions, reach out to your insurance broker for clarification.
- Before a storm strikes, take photos of your property to record its condition. This can be helpful if you need to file an insurance claim later on.
- It’s a good idea to have an emergency plan in place for severe weather. This should include identifying a safe room and knowing how to shut off utilities to protect your family and property.
In conclusion, summer storms can be incredibly beautiful, but they can also be incredibly destructive. Homeowners should take the necessary precautions to protect their homes from summer storm damage, including ensuring that their roofs, windows, and siding are in good repair, and that their landscaping is sloped properly and well maintained. In addition, homeowners should review their insurance policies to ensure that they have adequate coverage for potential summer storm damage. Please talk to your local broker or one of our experts would be happy to help you out with getting you a home policy and make sure you have adequate coverage in place.