Hailstorm damage in Calgary tops $1.2B, making it 4th costliest natural disaster ever in Canada
CALGARY -- Damage from the hailstorm that swept over Calgary in mid-June has been assessed at $1.2 billion, making it the fourth costliest natural disaster in Canadian history, according to the Insurance Bureau of Canada.
Most of the losses were to private property and vehicles, followed by commercial properties. Siding was torn from hundreds of homes and hundreds of vehicles were written off after having windows smashed out by large hailstones.
Premier Jason Kenney said uninsurable losses will be covered by the province's disaster relief program.
“Albertans know too well the stress, turmoil and financial hardships that severe weather events can cause," said Celyeste Power, western vice-president, with the Insurance Bureau of Canada. "Of the 10 most costly disasters in Canada, six of these have hit Alberta. Fortunately, Albertans are resilient and continue to come together in difficult times like these."
The most expensive natural catastrophe on record was the 2016 Fort McMurray wildfire, which cost almost $4 billion. The second highest was the 2013 flooding in southern Alberta, which cost roughly $3.5 billion, followed by a 1998 ice storm in Eastern Canada that caused $1.49 billion in damage.
One reason Alberta is seeing such costly storms and natural disasters is the fact major storms are hitting more and more populated areas. But that doesn't mean premiums will automatically go up, said Power.
"No one event will just automatically increase premiums," she said. "There are a number of factors that go in there and we have a competitive market."