As many Albertans are well aware of, there have been more and more hailstorms in the past five years than ever before. This has to do with changing weather patterns and its effect on storm frequency in Canada. Alberta has been the hardest hit from hail and wind damage. In fact, insurance companies paid out over 450 million in hail damage in 2014 alone, and 4 billion since 2011! That is a 650% increase of hailstorm claim payouts in the last decade alone.
What are Insurance Companies doing to help?
Insurance companies spend billions on hail claim payouts, which tend to result in premium increases for everyone in order to mitigate the costs. What many people do not know, is that insurance companies actively try to minimize the damage of hail storms by investing money into a process called cloud seeding.
What is Cloud Seeding?
Cloud seeding is a weather modification process whereby pilots fly over dense cloud regions that are likely to produce hail, and release a chemical called silver iodide. The chemical will stimulate the elements to release hail stones while they are still small and premature, before the larger, more disastrous stones are given the opportunity to develop and wreak havoc on homes and vehicles.
What to do in the event of a hail storm?
While insurance companies invest millions of dollars each year on cloud seeding, you too can avoid severe damage on your home in the event of a hailstorm.
Here are some easy steps you can do to avoid catastrophic damage to your property:
1) Pay attention to weather alerts
· Gives yourself time to pack away your things such as bikes, motorcycles, vehicles, and recreational vehicles.
· Close all doors and windows and draw curtains to avoid damage or injuries due to shattered glass.
2) Maintain and inspect your property
· Inspect your roof for signs of shingles lifting and repair these areas to avoid having hail stones puncturing or further damaging an already compromised area.
· Trim your trees-property should be well maintained to prevent falling or flying branches from damaging your home or vehicle.
How to protect your vehicle from hail damage
1) Seek cover immediately
· If you are driving try to park under a covered area.
· Keep blankets in your car, use this to cover the vehicle if you do not have access to a covered area.
2) Park Vehicle in the garage during hail season
· Hail storms can be sudden and unexpected; if you know you aren’t going to be home, park your vehicle in your garage.
· If you do not have a garage, use a blanket or purchase what is called a “hail protector”, a patent product that is a portable, balloon like tent, which shields your vehicle from hails storms.
Hail insurance options:
There are many types of insurance coverage out there for wind and hail. It is important to do your research or ask a broker, like us, to do the research for you, in order to find you the best insurance coverage for your home or auto. For example, you can get enhanced coverage on your insurance that will not only repair your hail damage, but upgrade your housing material to be hail resistant! Ask one of our brokers about this great coverage before hail seasons officially begins!