Coming soon. Are you prepared?
Hailstorm season runs from June to September in Alberta and the Prairies. Southeastern BC also gets a relatively significant share through the summer, as does the southern belly of Manitoba and Ontario. While many households are accustomed to dealing with this form of seasonal precipitation, climatologists of late have expressed concern. They point to hail becoming a greater threat in the future due to climate change, with a potential increase in the frequency and severity of thunderstorms. This is backed by studies conducted at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. Want to talk about the “new normal”? This is it, when it comes to summer weather in Canada.
The increase in urban development further exasperates the threat of property damage. In fact, we’ve already seen this play out. The Calgary hailstorm last year resulted in approximately 70,000 claims and over $1.3 billion in insured damages. The majority of the insured damages were to personal property and automobiles. In the end, the weather event of June 13, 2020 became the costliest hailstorm in the history of Canada, and the country’s fourth costliest natural disaster of all time.
As we enter the hailstorm season of 2021, households are wondering what more they can do to prepare. Below is everything you need to know.
Three Ways Households Can Better Prepare for Hailstorm Season in Canada
I. Follow Hailstorm Protection “Best Practices”
There are tried and true “best practices” for hail damage prevention that households need to be aware of. The steps include the following:
- Perform a risk assessment for your region
- Secure roofing and gutter systems
- Hail-proof (via tarp systems, etc.) outdoor installations and possessions that cannot be stored indoors
- Park vehicles in the garage or covered carport
- Secure susceptible windows and skylights with shutter systems
Park Insurance has prepared a guide for you to reference to ensure that you are ready for the season. Get your hailstorm damage prevention guide here.
II. Know Your Municipality’s Residential Upgrade Programs
Many households don’t realize that there are municipal programs in place to help fund retrofits and upgrades for the home. These may include exterior installations that will protect your home from hail. Look to the City of Calgary as a prime example. They offer a Resilient Roofing Rebate Program (RRRP).
The RRRP incentivizes upgrades from standard roofing products to impact-resistant products to protect Calgary homes from severe weather damage, including hail. The initiative is a 3-year phased program that began this past June 1 of 2021. The first 7-months of the program is allocated towards homeowners who experienced hail damage last year. Those who replaced, or plan to replace, their roof with a certified Class 4 impact-resistant material will receive a $3,000 rebate. The rebate is being applied retroactively to eligible properties where impact-resistant roofing was installed between June 13, 2020 and June 1, 2021. In 2022, the rebate will continue to be extended to Calgary homeowners impacted by the 2020 hailstorm, but in 2023 the program will include new builds. Calgary residents can check their eligibility here.
The City of Calgary’s RRRP incentive is a step in the right direction. We encourage households across the rest of Alberta, BC, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario to inquire with their respective municipalities to find out if such programs exist. It doesn’t have to directly apply to hailstorms, as rebates, credits, and tax incentives for any residential upgrade may better protect one’s home from hail in addition to a number of other natural threats. Just as weather events are often interconnected (i.e. thunderstorms leading to wildfires) so to are the preventative measures. Your municipality and province are there to help, and so are we. Keep reading.
III. Top Up Your Homeowners Insurance Coverage
There’s is only so much you can do to protect your property from extreme hailstorms. Upgrading roofing and other home exterior installations, parking vehicles in a covered area, and securing/storing outdoor valuables is a great place to start, but Mother Nature may have other ideas. To truly protect your assets, you must ensure that you have the most comprehensive homeowners insurance coverage possible. Where do you start? By contacting Park Insurance for an assessment. Our brokers can audit your existing policy to look for holes that hail can come ripping through. An independent broker can provide you with access to endorsements (riders) and inform you about your insurance options. These addendums can help mitigate the financial risk that comes from summer weather in Canada. Contact us today to schedule your consultation.