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More — but less severe — hailstorms this year

June was the busiest month for hail claims in Alberta but July had the worst ones, says hail insurers

Alberta’s quiet storm activity resulted in below-average hail losses in the province this year.

There was an early start to the hail season, with June 9, 14 and 25 being the top three storm dates — producing more than 100 claims and averaging more than $12,000 per claim.

However, the most expensive storm dates were July 13, 19 and 20, with these storms accounting for 31 per cent of the total claim payouts.

Total hail payments were just over $25 million, which is on par with 2017. Storm severity decreased by about three per cent, but storm frequency was up about 12 per cent from 2017. The overall reported loss ratio (ratio of claims to premiums) was 40 per cent in Alberta (compared to 34 per cent in 2017).

Over all on the Prairies, 2018 was average for claims but there were higher-than-average claim payments. Insurance payouts were about $161 million on about 11,200 claims in Western Canada. Producer premiums totalled just over $264 million for an industry loss ratio of 61 per cent.

Premiums decreased eight per cent this year following a record-low hail year in 2017.

Manitoba had a loss ratio of 71 per cent (versus 47 per cent in 2017) while Saskatchewan had a 66 per cent loss ratio (compared to 30 per cent in 2017).

Prairie farmers continue to insure their crops for hail damage at near-record levels in 2018, with hail sums insured topping $6.3 billion. However, in Alberta, total sums insured decreased in 2018, with average charged rates showing a continued decline from 2017. The decrease in sums insured resulted in a premium decline for 2018.

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