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A Challenging Summer: Alberta’s insured natural catastrophe total almost $2 billion after two additional storms

Edmonton, Alberta — Severe weather events have hit Alberta hard over the spring and summer months. Four events from April to August brought the insured damage total for natural catastrophes in the province to $2 billion, based on surveys from Catastrophe Indices and Quantification Inc. (CatIQ).

Two storms have most recently contributed to this total over the summer. A storm that hit the Calgary, Drumheller, Airdrie and Strathmore areas on July 24 topped $135 million in insured damages and resulted in over 10,000 claims. 

A storm that occurred over the August 2 and 3 caused an additional $58 million in insured damages, bringing the insured cost of the two summer storms to more than $190 million.

“Weather has hit our province hard this year,” said Celyeste Power, Vice-President, Western, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC). “The insurance industry is working to process the nearly 100,000 claims from the four spring and summer weather events, to ensure Albertans get back on their feet as quickly as possible.”

Strong thunderstorms developed across south-central Alberta on the afternoon of July 24. Several of these strong storm cells crossed through the Calgary area before combining into a larger cluster and crossing over Drumheller. Very large hail was reported in southeast Calgary and east of the city. Damage to buildings and cars was reported. Road flooding was also reported in the region, including in Calgary and Drumheller.

The storm over the August 2 and 3 weekend brought hail and damaging winds. Damage was reported from Cremona to Drumheller and as well in western Saskatchewan.

These recent storms are just part of the challenging summer that has struck Alberta in 2020 and they bring total insured damages to date just shy of the $2 billion mark. The amount of insured damage is an estimate provided by CatIQ under licence to IBC.

  • April: Fort McMurray flooding – $522 million
  • June: Calgary and surrounding area hailstorm – $1.2 billion
  • July: Calgary hail and flooding – $135 million
  • August: Central Alberta hailstorm – $58 million

Between 1983 and 2008, the average yearly total for insured damage related to severe weather across Canada was $422 million. From 2009 to 2019, Canada-wide severe weather losses averaged about $1.9 billion annually. This year, in Alberta alone, we are expecting to exceed that number.

“Insurers will remain on the ground assisting Albertans until the work is done. If you have any insurance questions, please contact IBC’s Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2ask-IBC. We are here to help,” added Power.

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