Summer storms cost insurers $200 million in the Prairies

Published: September 5, 2018



The Prairie provinces have faced a tough summer season, with storms causing over $200 million in insured damages so far. In a press release today, the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) says the severity and frequency of storms across the Prairies is increasing and damages will likely escalate in the coming years.

“These costs are only part of the picture – Taxpayers also foot the bill for this damage through disaster financial assistance arrangements programs that pay for many uninsured losses.” 

 “We are witnessing more frequent, intense storms and it is urgent that provinces and communities take concrete steps – such as improving land use planning and changing building codes – to adapt to severe weather events.”   – Celyeste Power, Vice-President, Western, IBC (Acting)

Alberta and Saskatchewan were hit by major storm systems during mid-July. In Alberta, hail damaged vehicles while heavy rains and strong winds damaged properties in Saskatchewan. The insured damages from this event stands at $30 million.

IBC says auto insurers are paying more in the wake of storm events because modern vehicles with new technology cost more to repair.

The industry representative body says consumers should check what their policy covers in the event of major weather events. Home insurance and auto insurance customers should ask their brokers for more information on what coverage points are included.

Storm frequency in the Prairies has increased over the last year, with more than $464 million in insured damages caused since May 2017. In its press release, IBC details the major events to have occurred in that time:

  • May 2017: Wind, water and flood damage near Lacombe, Alta., resulted in $68 million in insured damage.
  • June 2017: A hail storm in Saskatchewan caused more than $46 million in insured damage.
  • July 2017: Wind and water damage in in Yorkton and Melville, Sask., and in parts of Alberta resulted in over $50 million in insured damage.
  • October 2017: A windstorm in Dauphin and Winnipeg, Man., and parts of Alberta caused over $100 million in insured damage.
  • June 2018: Wind, rain and hail in Saskatchewan and Manitoba resulted in $90 million in insured damage.
  • July 2018: Severe thunderstorms in central Alberta caused $80 million in insured damage. 
  • August 2018: Hail, strong winds and heavy rain in Alberta and Saskatchewan resulted in $30 million in insured damage.