Sask. farmers post thousands more hail claims

An unusually heavy year for crop hail claims in Saskatchewan got heavier in the past two weeks with 5,000 more claims filed, according to the Canadian Crop Hail Association.

About 15,500 claims have now been filed with hail insurers that do business in Saskatchewan, the Prairie hail insurers’ group said Thursday in its biweekly report. While the rate of new claims in the province has slowed, the total is still “substantially higher” than in a typical year, with some areas having received as many as three or four hail storms.

Those include a storm July 28-29 through the central region, and another on Aug. 10, originating in the U.S. and moving through Coronach, Moose Jaw and south of Regina. Due to the backlog of claims, some farmers must wait two to three weeks for an adjuster to visit after a claim is filed; others are waiting over a month, the group said.

Saskatchewan’s loss per claim is also expected to be significantly higher than in previous years, due to farmers increasing the coverage on their crops.

Claims have slowed in Alberta, with about 500 filed in the past two weeks for a season total of about 4,200, the group said, although Alberta’s hail claim numbers remain “well ahead of last year at this time.” The Vermilion, Wainwright and St. Paul areas were hit with storms Aug. 5, 9, and 10-11.

About 500 claims were also filed in the past two weeks in Manitoba, where “only a few small storms” have been reported and farmers have “little or no wait” for an assessment from an insurance adjuster. The province’s seasonal total now sits at about 2,100 claims, which is below average for this point, the group said.

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