Hail Storm Insurance

While many are excited that June signals the start of summer, it also means the start of hail season which typically runs from June to September. Damage caused by hail is usually covered by insurance but it is important that you take precautions to protect yourself.

Hail Storm - Common Disasters - Insurance Brokers Association of ManitobaWhat is a Hail Storm?

Hail storms are thunderstorms that produce lumps of ice that reach the ground. Most hail storms occur in the afternoon or evening and rarely last more than 15 minutes. Hail stones produced during a storm can hit the ground at 130 kilometres per hour! Hail stones with a diameter of more er than 25.4 millimeters often cause damage.

Protect Yourself – What to do before a storm?

  • The roof of your home / business is usually the hardest hit by a hail storm. To limit your damage, you should:
    • Ensure that roofing components (fascia, soffits, chimney caps, etc.) are securely fastened.
    • Periodically check that your roof is in good condition and repair any damage.
    • Make sure that seals around skylights, chimneys, vents, etc. are in good condition.
  • As rain tends to accompany hail storms, you can prevent water entering your building by making sure your gutters are working properly and downspouts are draining water away from your foundation.
  • Secure all outdoor items as they can turn into dangerous projectiles. This includes storing waste bins, patio furniture, barbeques and awnings.
  • Protect your vehicle by not parking near trees, street lights or power lines. If possible, park your vehicle in a garage.

How Insurance Can Help

Most home insurance policies will cover damage to your home in the event of hail. This may include broken windows, damage to siding and roof damage. It could also cover losses to the home and its contents from water or snow entering though a sudden opening caused in the home caused by hail.

In the event of a homeowner needing to claim for damage, the insurance provider may account for depreciation to the home. This means that the age of damaged items, such as the roof and shingles, will be taken into consideration and may reduce their overall replacement value. Items such as siding and windows are usually covered for full replacement cost but you should check your policy with a licensed insurance broker. In certain circumstances, homeowners who are unable to live in their home due to the damage may be entitled to additional living expenses.

Tips for Starting a Claim

  • Call your insurance broker. Many insurers and brokers have 24-hour claims services to take you information and start the claim process. Be sure to be as detailed as possible when providing information.
  • Begin by making a list of all the damaged or destroyed items. If you are able, assemble any proofs of purchase, photos, receipts and warranties that you have for the damaged items. Take photographs of the damaged items which show the damage incurred and keep the item unless it poses a health hazard.
  • Keep all receipts related to cleanup and securing your property. You should be taking steps to prevent further damage to your home which may include installing tarps over holes made to the structure or removing tree limbs that could cause additional damage.
  • You may also be entitled to living expenses if you are displaced. Ask your insurance broker about what expenses you may be entitled to and for how long.

For more information on what coverage for a hail storm is available to you or to purchase insurance on your property, please speak with your local independent insurance broker.  Your broker will discuss your insurance requirements and work with you to find an insurance company that best fits your needs.  A list of brokerages can be found at ibam.mb.ca/find-a-broker/.

To learn how to prepare for emergencies in Manitoba, contact the Manitoba Emergencies Measures Organization.


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