Two severe storms caused over $130 million in insured damage, according to Catastrophe Indices and Quantification Inc. (CatIQ). The amount of insured damage is an estimate provided by CatIQ under licence to the Insurance Bureau of Canada.

The storms hit Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba from July 13 to 15, 2019, and southern Alberta and Saskatchewan on July 30, 2019. Across both storms and all provinces, nearly two thirds of the damage was to personal property, with the remaining losses impacting commercial property and auto.

July 13–15 Storm in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba

Type of insurance coverage / Insured damage*

Alberta – $11 million​

Saskatchewan – $29 million​

Manitoba – $2 million

Grand total – $41 million

* Initial estimates

July 30 Storm in Southern Alberta and Saskatchewan

Type of insurance coverage / Insured damage*

Alberta – $90 million

Saskatchewan – $1 million​

Grand total: $91 million

*Initial estimates

Severe weather in the Prairies from July 13-15 caused significant hail, wind, and water damage, with 102 km/h wind gusts and 68 mm of rain. Damage to homes and vehicles included siding torn off of homes and shingles torn off of roofs, and shattered windows and windshields.

On the afternoon of July 30, severe storms developed in southern Alberta and southern
Saskatchewan. Hail smashed windshields, dented hoods, and cracked windows in vehicles. The storms also caused significant damage to homes.

“Western Canada was impacted by several storms this past summer, but these two stand out in terms of the catastrophic losses suffered,” said Celyeste Power, vice-president for the Insurance Bureau of Canada’s (IBC) Western region. “Severe, unpredictable weather like this is becoming more frequent, resulting in higher costs to homeowners, insurers, and governments. Last year, insured damage from severe weather across Canada exceeded $2 billion, the fourth-highest amount of annual losses on record. That alarming trend has continued in 2019, with close to $900 million in insured losses recorded already this year.”

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The highest cost of insured catastrophic loss on record occurred in 2016, which exceeded $5 billion and includes the Fort McMurray wildfire and several storms across Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. It is not only insurers who foot the bill for severe weather damage, it’s also taxpayers. This is why all stakeholders need to come together to reduce the financial strain caused by floods and other severe weather events. For every dollar paid out in insurance claims for damaged homes, vehicles and businesses, Canadian governments and their taxpayers pay much more to recover the public infrastructure damaged by severe weather.

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