Payouts per hail claim beat Sask. average

Hail insurers in Saskatchewan report a far higher average payout per claim this year, with six-figure claim payouts “not unusual,” an insurers’ group reports.

In its latest Prairie hail report, the Canadian Crop Hail Association reported over 2,000 new hail claims filed in Saskatchewan in the past two weeks, bringing total claims for this crop year so far to about 18,000, the group said.

The biggest storm in the province while the group was compiling its latest report took place Aug. 21 in western Saskatchewan, where it affected crops in the Rosetown, Plenty, Sovereign, Kindersley, Milden and Outlook areas.

The group’s numbers were compiled before claims began to come in from the storm that hit the province’s northernmost crop-growing regions, in the Shellbrook and Paddockwood areas around Prince Albert, earlier this week.

Saskatchewan adjusters are still whittling down the backlog of claims created by major storms in July, the association said, noting there were more claims this July than there usually are in an entire year.

“Early July damage is more difficult to access and that slows down the adjusting process,” the association said in its release Thursday. “The wet weather that has slowed harvest activity this week also slows down the adjusting process.”

The association also reminded farmers that if they plan to harvest a particular crop prior to it being adjusted, they need to leave adequate and appropriate evidence, such as check strips. Otherwise, they may put their claims in jeopardy, the association said.

Alberta, Manitoba

Hail claims in Alberta, meanwhile, have gone from about 4,200 to about 4,650 in the past two weeks, the group said. These statistics do not include claims on the hail endorsement offered as part of crop insurance coverage in Alberta.

Hail was reported in the region southeast of Edmonton, from southwest of Forrestburg to northeast of Killam, and in the region southeast of Calgary, from Ensign to west of Lomond. Many farmers in these areas have had two hailstorms this year and some have had three, the association said.

Hail claims in Manitoba, however, remain “significantly less” than in a typical year, at only about 2,200, the association reported Thursday. That number has risen by just over 100 during the past two weeks as a small storm hit the Lowe Farm and Halbstadt areas between Winnipeg and the U.S. border. Average payments per claim in Manitoba also appear to be “much lower” than those in Saskatchewan or Alberta.

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