August 7, 2013 7:02 pm
Updated: September 9, 2013 10:41 am

SGI receives 7,000 claims after July hail storm

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REGINA – Body shops in Regina are having a hard time keeping up with the flood of cars coming in with hail damage.

“Two years ago we had a hail storm here,” said Tri Nguyen of Tri’s Dent Care. “We just caught up and another storm came here. The damage is way more than last time.

“I’m booked until January right now.”

SGI has received 8,377 claims for hail damage since May. That’s 4,000 more than the same time period last year. Of those, 7,976 happened in July.

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“About 7,000 of those claims are related to a storm that hit July 19th in Regina and area,” said SGI’s Kelley Brinkworth.

That hail storm has keep SGI busy the last few weeks.

“We actually do have appraisers working overtime, evenings and weekends to try and get through the backlog as quickly as possible because right now there is a bit of a wait time,” explained Brinkworth.

The work, however, is not done when the appraisers finish. Body shops like Nguyen’s are swamped, so pop up locations like National Storm Solutions have set up shop in Regina to help make a dent in the demand.

“Whenever there’s a catastrophe storm, or even small storms, we run to that location to fix the cars because it’s usually quite overwhelming,” said the company’s director of operations Brendan Butler.

This summer hail damage has brought staff of National Storm Solutions from locations across Canada to Weyburn, Southey and now Regina, where they are helping out a local auto body shop. After looking at the amount of claims, Regina is where they will stay for a while.

“We’ve rented a lease right until the new year already so we’re not planning to go anywhere. We’re here for a long time,” Butler said.

The company expects to fix up to 1,000 cars during their time in Regina.

SGI anticipates many more claims will roll in over the next few months as drivers notice damage left by the hail. Car owners have up to two years after the storm to report a claim.

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