Although it’s early in the growing season, hailstorms have already generated claims ineach Prairie province.
The most significant storm to date in Alberta was on June 5 when hail was accompanied by a tornado in the southern part of the province. The areas affected were Taber, Wrentham, and Warner to Enchant. Seeding was early in this region so the hail caused damage to a number of specialty crops as well as conventional ones.
Southeastern Saskatchewan had a storm on May 22 that damaged winter wheat and some pulse crops. Most of the claims were around Oungre. On June 8 and 9, a few claims were filed as a result of storm activity in south central and southeastern Saskatchewan.
In Manitoba, claims were generated near Holland on May 27. There were also claims in early June in the southeast region of the province near Emerson, St. Jean Baptiste and Ste. Agathe. Claims are expected in parts of Alberta and Saskatchewan from hailstorms that occurred June 13.
Producer urged to make hail insurance decisions early
Although a few producers are still trying to get the last of their crops seeded and many others are busy with in-crop weed control, there are advantages to getting hail insurance in place as early as possible:
-It costs the same amount to insure early and the coverage is in effect longer.
-Early storms before insurance is purchased can limit the opportunity to subsequently purchase hail insurance coverage. Every year there are some producers who have hail storms in advance of getting coverage.
-Many companies have liability limits for specific townships, meaning they will only accept a certain amount of business. While industry wide capacity is not an issue, buying early means a wider selection of companies to choose from and therefore a better chance at the lowest insurance costs.
-Producers can continue to add hail insurance as the season progresses.
With this year’s reduction in unseeded acres, combined with solid commodity prices and the high cost of growing a crop, hail insurance uptake is expected to be strong. Producers can contact their local agents to discuss the various coverage options.
The Canadian Crop Hail Association represents the companies that sell crop hail insurance to producers in Western Canada. Starting on July 6 they will release a report every second Friday during the hail season to provide information on storms, claims and related issues.