Calgary hail storm among costliest in Canada, likely to exceed C$1bn: Aon

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A recent severe hail storm event that impacted the Calgary area of Alberta, Canada is expected to become on the most costly hail loss events in the country’s history, with economic costs likely to exceed C$1 billion (US $735m), the majority of which will be covered by insurance and possibly some reinsurance as well.

Hail stonesImpact Forecasting, the weather forecasting, analytics and catastrophe information specialist unit of insurance and reinsurance broker Aon, reports that the severe storms from June 13th to 14th drove significant impacts across southern and central Alberta.

Supercell laden storms drove particularly large hail, heavy rainfall, as well as strong and damaging winds across the region, with the northeast of Calgary experiencing some of the heaviest impacts.

Aon’s Impact Forecasting said that a high number of homes and businesses suffered damage from the hail storm event, as well as a wide swathe of agricultural land.

The company explained, “Periods of severe windblown hail from this event resulted in significant damage, including exterior structural damage to siding and windows along with extensive damage to vehicles and windshields. Many thousands of properties and vehicles were damaged or destroyed; in many instances due to wind-driven hail. Several different types of building construction were affected, though media pictures shows vinyl siding suffering some of the worst impacts. In some cases, vinyl siding was shredded.”

The Mayor of Calgary has estimated that tens of thousands of properties were impacted by the hail storm event, raising the prospects of a major insurance and perhaps reinsurance market loss for the region.

Aon’s Impact Forecasting further explained, “In some locations blocked storm drains from debris along with hailstones piled several inches high increased the severity of flash floods – at least 300 storm drains were clogged. Instances of hailstones responsible for destroying vegetation and crops as well as stripping branches from trees were observed. In northeast Calgary roadways were inundated with water, resulting in disruption to transportation and hundreds of stranded vehicles. Calgary firefighters used a fire rescue boat to assist trapped motorists along portions of Deerfoot Trail. According to the Calgary Fire Chief, more than 20 water rescues were performed.”

Because of this extensive damage across southern and central Alberta, including the impacts of large hail, strong winds and flooding, the economic impact is expected to be significant.

Impact Forecasting said that officials reported that the damage costs would likely exceed C$1 billion (US $735 million).

As a result, this could be one of Canada’s most expensive hail events in the recent record, Impact Forecasting said.

Further stating that the majority of the hail and wind- related damage is expected to be covered by insurance, raising the prospect that some insurers could also call on reinsurance support to pay their claims.

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