Hail damage the worst in Alberta compared to all other Canadian provinces: AMA

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Hail damage the worst in Alberta compared to all other Canadian provinces
WATCH: Calgary's weather can be unpredictable. Severe storms can wreak havoc on homes and businesses, including auto dealerships. As Jill Croteau reports, some are looking to literally cover their losses – Jul 3, 2019

Experts warn to brace for a season of summer storms in Alberta, which sees more insured losses than all the other provinces combined.

AMA insurance experts have compiled numbers from insurance providers across the province, and said 51 per cent of all storm-related damage in Canada since 2010 has occurred in Alberta.

Vishnu Singh with AMA said people need to protect their vehicles and their property when a storm hits.

“You want to make sure you go underground or find a parkade,” Singh said. “The kinds of expenses to a vehicle is, on average, $5,000 for a hail claim for vehicles.”

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The growing cost of damages is leaving a big dent in the bottom line for car dealerships. For many, it was no longer feasible to leave their inventory so vulnerable. Many have invested in protective shields.

T&T Honda in Calgary’s northeast spent just over $1 million to install six tents.

A car lot in Calgary has invested $500,000 for three tents to act as protective shields from hail. Jill Croteau / Global News

The dealership’s general manager, Navroz Jessani, said they were left with no choice.

“We had to do something to mitigate that risk as well as keep insured,” Jessani said. “We got hit with a massive hailstorm in August 2012, and there was a significant amount of damage and getting insurance after that point became more and more difficult for us.”

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AMA released more statistics that reveal 66 per cent of Canada’s major hail storms happen in Alberta — the most severe to date was in August 2010, causing nearly $400 million in damages.

Ways to prevent summer storm damage include parking your vehicle in a garage or under a covered structure and tying down lawn furniture. The most important thing, according to the AMA, is to know when severe weather is on the way, advising people to get weather alerts on their phones.

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