In preparation for Alberta’s hail season, which runs from June to September, the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is sharing tips and information to help consumers protect themselves and their properties.
The bureau reminded consumers to prepare for severe weather, by taking stock of their property’s belongings – a detailed inventory will help homeowners keep track of what is missing after a catastrophe. Homeowners should also make an emergency supply kit with enough food, water, extra cash, batteries, and flashlights, among other necessities. Households must also have an emergency preparedness plan.
Homeowners have been advised by IBC to secure any outdoor patio furniture or barbecue grills, by taking them indoors. The organization also suggested consumers park their car indoors to protect the vehicles from hail damage, and install sump pumps and a sewer backup to mitigate any potential storm-induced flooding.
For their safety, homeowners are advised to stay away from windows, doors, and skylights during a storm, IBC said. Drivers have been cautioned never to drive through flooded intersections or large puddles.
IBC also dispensed insurance-related tips. Homeowners should review their insurance policies with their insurance representative to understand what is and what is not covered. Those filing a claim after severe weather should take a photograph of the damage to document it. The bureau also offered a reminder that water damage to vehicles is usually covered under comprehensive or all-perils auto insurance.
The bureau pointed out in its notice that Alberta has experienced more severe weather events than any other region in Canada.
“The hailstorms that hit Calgary and the surrounding area last June were the worst our province has ever seen and caused over $1.3 billion in insured damage. They were the fourth most-expensive natural disaster in Canadian history and serve as an important reminder of the need to improve our physical and financial preparedness for such events,” said IBC Pacific and Western acting vice president Aaron Sutherland.
“Calgary’s unique location means we are susceptible to many different hazards. Summer storms with hail can be particularly dangerous and destructive. Last year we saw these impacts first-hand, but there are things you can do now to be prepared,” said Calgary Emergency Management Agency chief Susan Henry. “We encourage all Calgarians to sign up for weather alerts, learn about the hazards you are vulnerable to and take the necessary steps to prepare.”
“Your insurance broker can make sure you have the right coverage to fit your needs. Speak to your broker before severe weather hits. We’re here to help,” said Insurance Brokers Association of Alberta CEO George Hodgson.