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The Cost of Wind and Hail

State Farm® reports $3 billion in wind and hail claims in 2013

Aurora, Ontario. March 10, 2014 – Wind and hail storms remain some of the most frequent and severe causes of property damage in Canada. While hail storms most frequently impact Alberta and southern Ontario, all provinces are susceptible, especially the prairies.

Damage caused by these weather events across Canada and the United States cost State Farm customers more than $3 billion in 2013.

In Canada, more than 2,060 State Farm wind/hail claims were reported:

  • Ontario - 1425 claims
  • Alberta - 525
  • New Brunswick - 100

The top 5 U.S. states with the most wind/hail claims were:

  1. Texas - 42,000 claims
  2. Illinois - 26,000
  3. Georgia - 25,000
  4. Oklahoma - 17,000
  5. Minnesota - 15,000

Preparing Your Home, Preparing Your Family – Wind/Hail/Tornadoes

High winds due to thunderstorms, tornadoes and other wind events cause millions – and often billions – of dollars in property damage each year. Roofs are frequently damaged in high wind and hail events.

  • If you are indoors when a storm with large hailstones strikes, stay there. Because hail can shatter windows, close your drapes, blinds or window shades to prevent the wind from blowing broken glass inside. Stay away from skylights and doors.
  • If weather conditions are prime for hail storms, pull cars, boats, RVs, lawn and patio furniture into a covered area.
  • Good tree pruning can prevent many problems. Prompt removal of diseased, damaged, or dead plant parts helps reduce the possibility of future storm damage.
  • When building or remodeling, consider impact resistant roofing to reduce hail damage to your home.
  • Inspect the condition of your roof on an annual basis - http://learningcentre.statefarm.ca/residence/maintenance/evaluating-the-condition-of-your-roof/

Tornadoes are among the most destructive forces of nature. While no province is immune to a twister's violent winds, there are places where they touch down more often. The highest concentrations of tornadoes are in the prairies and southern Ontario.

  • If you do not have a safe room or a tornado shelter, you should identify what might be the safest area of your home or business during tornadoes. This is usually the basement or a small interior room without windows.
  • Head to the centre of your home or basement, away from windows and preferably under something sturdy like a workbench or staircase or in a bathtub with a mattress over top of you.
  • Don't open your windows! This won't save the house and may actually make things worse by giving wind and rain a greater chance of getting inside. Get to the safest place possible, away from glass that can break and injure or kill you.
  • Closing interior doors will also help to compartmentalize the structure and provide more barriers between you and the storm.
  • Don't try to ride out a tornado in a manufactured or mobile home. Even manufactured homes with tie-downs overturn in these storms because they have light frames and offer winds a large surface area to push against.

Outside (No Shelter):

  • Never try to outrun a tornado. Instead, leave the vehicle immediately for safe shelter.
  • If you can safely get lower than the level of the roadway, such as in a ditch, leave your car and lie in that area, covering your head with your hands.
  • Do not get under an overpass or bridge. You are safer in a low, flat location.

After the Storm

The period following a natural disaster can be disorienting and dangerous. Below are a few tips that may help relieve some of the uncertainty and help you stay safe, secure your property, and begin the claims process in the aftermath of a major event.

  • Use your emergency water or boil tap water before drinking until you are told the water supply is safe. Food that came in contact with water may be contaminated and should be discarded.
  • Visually inspect your home for structural damage and take reasonable steps to prevent further damage. For example, board up holes with plywood and cover leaks with plastic sheeting.
  • Your insurer will require you to document any damage to your property and provide receipts for recovery-related expenses. Be sure to save all receipts for home repairs, vehicle towing and repairs, temporary housing, meals, and other living expenses. Also, photograph and list all damaged, spoiled, or contaminated items, including quantity, description, and age.

Media Contact

John Bordignon
State Farm Canada  
john.bordignon.pgr8@statefarm.com
905-750-5567/416-801-6078 

About State Farm

State Farm has been serving Canadians since 1938. State Farm and its affiliates are the fourth largest auto insurance provider, and the seventh largest property and casualty insurer in Canada. In addition to providing affordable car insurance rates, State Farm has more than 525 Canadian agents and 1300 employees providing insurance and financial services including mutual funds, life insurance, vehicle loans, critical illness, disability, home and auto insurance to our customers in Ontario, Alberta and New Brunswick. For more information, please visit statefarm.ca®, join us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or see us on YouTube.