Summer storms across Alberta & Prairies cause over $300m in insured losses

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A series of devastating storms that struck Alberta and the Prairies across the summer has resulted in over $300 million in insured losses, according to initial estimates from Catastrophe Indices and Quantification Inc. (CatIQ), a subsidiary of Zurich-based PERILS AG.

Of the more than $300 million in insured losses, over $90 million went towards replacing/repairing storm-damaged vehicles in Alberta.

Moreover, since 2020, insured losses to vehicles in Alberta from severe weather events has exceeded $500 million.

“Unfortunately, residents in Alberta and across the Prairies experienced another summer of extreme weather events that damaged or destroyed homes, vehicles and businesses,” commented Aaron Sutherland, Vice-President, Pacific and Western, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC).

“This is the third straight summer in which Alberta has seen significant insured damage from hail, wind and rain. The trend is clear, and it’s important that consumers work with their insurance representative to ensure they have the right coverage to protect their property or business from the impacts of these storms.”

It is very clear that the frequency and severity of extreme weather events continues to put immense pressure on insurance premiums across the country, with the increasing insured losses from these events particularly straining Alberta’s auto insurance market.

The more than $300 million in insured losses this year are due to severe weather that resulted in damage from wind, rain and hail, however this total does not include insured losses from the ongoing wildfires.

Between June 18-20, heavy rainfall led to extensive flooding across parts of Alberta, which resulted in authorities declaring a state of emergency in some communities.

In Edmonton, the total rainfall that occurred across those three days exceeded the entire monthly average for June. Overall this caused over $40 million in insured damage

Then on July 1st,  severe storms across central Alberta and Saskatchewan caused a significant amount of damage, with one storm near Didsbury, Alberta producing an EF-4 tornado.

The tornado ended up destroying three homes, rendered another four uninhabitable, and also went on to damage an additional five. This all went on to cause over $100 million in insured damage.

Further, a strong thunderstorm moved across Calgary on July 15, which winded up resulting in large hail falling on neighborhood’s across the city’s south centre. This would wind up causing over $110 million in insured damage.

Lastly, a series of thunderstorms caused significant damage in Alberta and Manitoba in late July, with the storms producing grapefruit-sized hail, flooded gutters and drains, and caused brutal winds, including at least three confirmed tornadoes. This went on to cause over $40 million in insured damage.

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