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40% of Calgary hailstorm claims still outstanding: Insurance Bureau of Canada

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WATCH: It has been four months since Calgary's devastating hailstorm left many homes in tatters, and still, tens of thousands of claims remain open. As Christa Dao reports, it is a situation some are calling desperate – Oct 25, 2020

The sudden blast of wintry weather is adding insult to injury for many northeast Calgary residents who are still cleaning up after June 13’s hailstorm.

It has been four months since Canada’s most devastating hailstorm left many homes in that quadrant in tatters, and still, tens of thousands of claims remain open, according to the Insurance Bureau of Canada.

IBC said about 40 per cent of repair claims are outstanding.

“Our recent member survey showed about 60 per cent of the 70,000 claims are closed. The claims that remain open at are various stages,” the statement read.

Read more: Calgary hailstorm victims ‘very, very frustrated’ by slow pace of damage repair

The association said reasons for the delay included a shortage of siding and other building materials, a shortage of contractors, and the pandemic, as some homeowners do not want people at their homes.

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Ward 5 Coun. George Chahal called the situation desperate and said many homeowners still have windows that need to be repaired. The sudden weather has impacted thousands already.

“Winter is not coming. Winter has arrived,” he said.

Chahal worries many won’t be able to afford their heating bills.

“It is like a war zone. There’s a lot of damage here,” he said.

“I have serious concerns about how many of these homeowners will get through the winter without having further damage to their homes and the high energy costs that they will face because their homes just aren’t as adequately protected.

“Many of these individuals work two jobs to make ends meet. So this is a challenge — on getting your kids to school, working about, aging family members or grandparents that may reside with you [and] fixing your home and being able to do all that, and having challenges working with insurance and then getting contractors to rebuild these homes.”

Read more: Calgary council urges action for hail-damaged northeast as winter approaches

Pamela Fischer lives in Saddleridge. While she’s one of the luckier ones who recently had her home repaired, she’s concerned for her neighbours who are still waiting for repairs.

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A family home in Saddleridge.
A family home in Saddleridge. Mark Matulis / Global Calgary
“Several of our neighbours have their windows missing… Those rooms are not safe [for them] to be in,” she said.

“I’m heartbroken for those who are without… We’re told to be patient but how do you be patient when you have no windows and your side wood is exposed on your home and your roof is leaking? It’s hard.”

She and her husband Jason are part of the Hail Action Committee. They’re calling for more action from officials and want to see support in the way of a $5,000 interest-free loan available to all homeowners. They also want more resources made available.

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Read more: Southern Alberta storm caused almost $1.2B in damage, 4th most costly Canadian natural disaster

“The community is still in the throes of recovery… There are kids in these homes. There’s generational families in these homes, and we’re [in the] middle of a pandemic. So not only that, how are they going to heat their homes? The whole home has been subjugated to outdoor conditions. It’s horrible,” Jason said.

In a statement, the province said it is continuing to encourage Albertans to work with their insurance providers.

“Calgarians have been hit hard by this disastrous hailstorm and our hearts go out to all those affected. Albertans pay insurance and rely on it for situations just like these. We continue to encourage Albertans to work with their insurance providers for damages caused by the storm, and our MLAs remain committed to assisting with this process,” municipal affairs press secretary Justin Marshall said.