Hail damage claims skyrocket in Manitoba

Claims already exceed the average for an entire year

Commodity News Service Canada — The massive storms that have steamrolled through parts of Manitoba are causing significantly higher than average hail damage claims, according to the Canadian Crop Hail Association.

The association’s most recent hail report said the ratio of claims to policies have soared due to storms on July 4, July 10 and July 16, which affected large areas in south central and south west Manitoba.

With the most recent cloudburst on July 20, David Koroscil with the Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation said the amount of claims they’ve received so far has already surpassed the annual average.

“We’ve received 2,200 claims so far this year to date. The average is 2,100 for the entire year,” Koroscil said.

Claims are still rolling in from the last couple of days and more are expected in the weeks ahead, Koroscil said July 21.

“Everyone’s seen the most severe, extensive storm this year because of the size of the hailstones — the one that went through Holland, Treherne, Notre Dame, Somerset and the Darlingford area a few days ago — but we still don’t know the size or the impact of that,” he said.

So far, storms have been considered moderate to minor because crops were at an early stage and able to recover, Koroscil said.

“We’re starting to run into situations now where the crops are all headed out and the damage becomes more severe because crops can’t recover at this stage,” Koroscil said. “We already know of reports where there has been significant damage to crops.”

With a month left in growing season, Koroscil said this year looks like it will be a significant one.

Last year was one of the highest years on record, with 2,800 claims paid out for $31.1 million for the year ending Oct. 21, Koroscil said.

With hailstorms typically continuing throughout August and into September, Koroscil said this year is shaping up to be similar, if not higher than last year.

“It’s just a matter of what type of weather we receive and how many more storms we get along the way,” Koroscil said. “Another thing that plays a big role is how early harvest is, if it starts in mid-August and a lot of crops get taken off that reduces our liability as well.”

After September long weekend, the likelihood of hail drops off, but the next six weeks are critical for hail damage, Koroscil said.

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