Hail insurance claims are pouring in across the Prairie provinces.
Executive Vice President of Ag Direct Hail Insurance Bruce Lowe says 250 hail insurance claims have been made to his company at this point, including 100 in Manitoba and 75 each from Saskatchewan and Alberta.
Lowe says the Manitoba stat is surprising, considering that province historically has a lower risk profile, compared to Alberta which has a higher risk profile; Saskatchewan is second among the two other Prairie provinces in terms of risk.
“It’s been a tough year for Manitoba farmers,” Lowe said.
While the volume of claims is high, he says the number of affected acres is low.
“There has been some heavy damage in some farm communities but for the most part the level of storms and severity of storms hasn’t been as high,” he explained. “You look at those storms that passed through right across the Prairies on July 1st and 2nd. They were widespread storms but were kind of hit-and-miss storms where we’re getting claims on 120 acres here and 170-180 acres there, and it wasn’t the full-on 3-4 thousand acre claims that sometimes can happen in bigger storms.”
Lowe called this an unprecedented year for claims this early in the growing season. He says there is still time for farmers to get hail insurance as the deadline with Ag Direct Hail is July 31st.
“We want to be there for hard-working prairie farmers and make sure they can sleep at night knowing that they’re covered,” Lowe said. “At the end of the day for us we don’t really care how big the farmers are, our goal is to simply go out there and make sure we put a cheque in that farmer’s hand that fairly represents his loss, and whether that’s with a 120-acre policy or a 12-thousand-acre policy, we go out there with the same mindset for each and every claim: thoroughly adjust it, make sure that the farmer understands what we’re doing and how we’re doing the counts and make sure they’re satisfied with how we’re completing and paying their loss.”