Storms bring range of damage to crops across Western Canada

Storms produced hail as large as baseballs across Western Canada resulting in minor damage to early-stage crops and significant damage to mature crops, according to the Canadian Crop Hail Association.

The storms occurred June 8-25.

CCHA member companies are investigating more than 649 claims of crop damage during the time period.

Darryl Tiefenbach, of Additional Municipal Hail, said storms damaged all types of crops in the Saskatchewan communities of Frontier, Climax, Fillmore, Corning, Glen Avon, Kipling, Moosomin, Rocanville, Swift Current, Shamrock, Mossbank, Spring Valley, Avonlea, Balgonie, Assiniboia, White Fox, Nipawin, Carrot River.

He said storms produced hail ranging from pea-size to as large as a baseball.

“We expect to see minimal to moderate damage in the crops at their early stage of development,” Tiefenbach said.

Heavy rain is also a factor in adjusting crop damage.

“The west half of Saskatchewan began drier than normal due to low snowfall and minimal rainfall prior to seeding but many areas have received some rainfall over the last few weeks,” Tiefenbach said. “The east half of Saskatchewan, and into Manitoba, had higher than average amounts of snowfall and above average rainfall prior to and during seeding. Seeding was later in the East half due to the slow melting snowpack and subsequent rainfall.”

Brendan Blight, of Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation, said storms damaged winter wheat, field peas, canola, oats, red spring wheat, soybeans, fall rye, barley and pinto beans in the Manitoba communities of Benito and Swan River.

He said storms produced hail raining from pea to quarter-size.

“We are still assessing the damage but so far it ranges from moderate to severe,” he said.

Yves Dooper, of Agriculture Financial Services Corporation, said storms damaged canola, wheat, potatoes, dry beans, fall rye, durum and barley in the Alberta communities of Carbon, Three Hills, Viking, Mannville, Taber, Stirling, Vauxhall, Strathmore, Irricana, Olds, Innisfail,  Penhold, Stettler, Wetaskiwin and Hay Lakes.

The damage was light to medium.

Scott McQueen, of Palliser Insurance, said storms damaged all types of crops across Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Alberta.

Storms produced hail that ranged from pea to golf ball-size.

“We are seeing a lot of light damage on early-stage crops,” he said. “With seeding a bit behind in most areas, crops are just starting to emerge from the ground resulting in light damage from hail.  We have seen some significant damage in fall rye, winter wheat, and some pea crops.”

Murray Bantle, of Co-operative Hail Insurance Company, said storms damaged various crops in the Manitoba communities of Stockton, Cypress River, Benito, Swan River, Russel, Baldur, Crystal City, Deloraine, Killarney, Oakburn, Russell, Sandy Lake, Strathclair, Gladstone, Minnedosa, Neepawa and Rossburn.

The damage was light to heavy.

Heavy rain and wet field conditions are among factors in adjusting crop damage, he said.

Bantle said storms damaged cereals, pulse and oilseeds in the Saskatchewan communities of Chamberlain, Regina, Eastend, Glenavon, Edam, Cutknife, Frontier, Rocanville Lanbank, Fillmore, Winthorst, Assiniboia, Gull Lake Tompkins, Earl Grey, Carrot River, Choiceland, Nipawin, Abbey, Bulyea, Cabri, Chamberlain, Craven, Cupar, Esterhazy, Govan, Holdfast, Imperial, Kelliher, Lake Lenore, Leross, Outlook, Richmound and Yorkton.

The damage was light to heavy.

Rick Omelchenko, of Ag Direct Hail Insurance, said storms damaged cereals, pulses, and oilseeds in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

In Alberta, the storms hit Barrhead, Camrose, New Norway, Eckville, Sylvan Lake, Penhold, Innisfail, Olds, Beiseker, Three Hills, Morin, Drumheller, Hanna, Rockyford, Delia and Strathmore.

In Saskatchewan, they hit Neilberg, Meota, Biggar, Kenasten, Imperial, Strasbourg, Southey, Regina Beach, Regina, Vibank, Esterhazy, Choiceland, Meath Park, Naicam and Langenburg

In Manitoba, storms hit Binscarth, St. Lazare, Shoal Lake, Minnedosa, Newdale, Plumas and Killarney.

“Ag Direct adjusters are out and have completed all claims up to the June 19 storm date,” Omelchenko said. “Wet conditions and steady rains have slowed adjustments but adjusters are still completing adjustments in a timely manner.”

The Canadian Crop Hail Association (CCHA) has been serving the crop insurance industry since 1915. It is a member-driven organization that represents the interests of the Canadian Crop Hail managing general agencies and insurance companies. These private and government organizations together provide a risk management tool to the farmers across Canada. Members are Additional Municipal Hail Ltd. (Saskatchewan), AG Direct Hail Insurance Ltd, Agriculture Financial Services Corporation (Alberta), Canadian Hail Agencies Inc, Co-operative Hail Insurance Company, Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation, Rain and Hail Insurance Service Ltd., New Brunswick Agricultural Insurance Commission and Palliser Insurance Company Ltd.

Final report: Hail insurance industry reports near-record claim payments in 2021

The crop hail industry paid out near record payments on the prairies for 2021. Recording more than 12,000 claims, industry payments to prairie producers will total more than $322 million – an amount not seen since 2008. Producer premiums totaled more than $309 million for an industry loss ratio of 104 percent. This loss will impact the balance sheet of most participating companies.

Prairie farmers were optimistic when the seed went in the ground and it was time to purchase their crop hail insurance coverage. Dry conditions were widespread across the western prairies.  There were concerns going into the season after minimal fall moisture and little snow cover, but some timely early spring snow and rains brightened the outlook for seeding and provided hope.

Record dry was reported through southern Manitoba and a large portion of south and western Saskatchewan, as well as much of Alberta. The weather dried out quickly and with little to no reserve moisture and record heat, crops in areas soon started to suffer. By July hopes were dashed with extreme heat and drought like conditions across much of the prairies, resulting in plummeting yields. The hot and dry conditions made way for an early start to harvest. Grain prices remained at near or record levels throughout the summer and heading into harvest.

The industry set record-level sums insured of more than $8 billion as crop prices surged and spring looked promising. Producers continued to welcome industry rate declines in what continues to be a very competitive marketplace.

Storm frequency was below average in 2021. The number of days producing active weather fell below the 5-year average. Storm severity, or the cost per claim quickly built like the clouds that cause the hail. What looked to be an average storm season endured record high claim payments. All three prairie provinces had average cost per claims higher than the 5-year average. The industry saw record loss payments from the activity with storm severity (average per claim) up 78 percent compared to the 5-year average.

With the lack of moisture, the western prairies received less-than-average storm days throughout the summer, but storm severity made up for the decrease in storm days. The summer started off slow with June seeing storm activity down 25 percent from the 5-year average.  July continued with limited active weather. However, the limited storms produced in July were the start to what was to become an expensive claim season.

Hardest hit was Saskatchewan with an industry loss ratio of 134 percent compared to 2020’s 65 percent.  Alberta followed with a 97 percent loss ratio, compared to 75 percent in 2020.  Manitoba was the only province to record a positive year with a loss ratio of more than 26 percent.

The isolated severe storm tracks brought moisture to localized area producers, but the severity left little if any crop, or time for crop recovery, to an already dismal production.

The Canadian prairie storm season runs June through October. This year June and July saw limited storm activity with active storm days down by about 20 percent overall compared to the 5-year average. August activity picked up becoming more average. September, with harvest in full swing across the prairies, recorded lower than average activity. Despite the lower activity across most of the summer, claim frequency (claims to policy) ended up being down by only 4 percent compared to the 5-year average.

Alberta crop hail results clouded with storm activity

Alberta’s storm activity resulted in heavier-than-average loss expense for the industry. The claim to policy ratio was 25 percent above the 5-year average. Average cost per claim saw an increase of more than 21 percent of the 5-year average. The industry reported 9 major storm days in July and August, resulting in more than 1,200 claims and costing more than $56 million.

Alberta’s costliest day was August 31 with more than 600 claims resulting in more than $20 million being paid. Following a close second was July 22 with 495 claims and a total payout of over $17 million. Total hail payments for 2021 were more than $82 million the most expensive since 2016.

Total sums insured saw a small increase from 2020, with average rates charged reporting a slight increase, likely due to continued declining industry results.

Saskatchewan records largest crop hail payouts since 2008

This year’s hail losses rivaled the worst ever recorded for the industry, with loss payouts of more than $224 million. Only 2008 recorded higher claim payouts. This resulted in an industry loss ratio more than 130 percent.

The season had an early start on June 5 with a west central storm. However, the reminder of the summer saw limited but costly storm dates. The industry reported 4 major storm dates in July with more than 2,600 recorded claims costing more than $98 million.

August which saw a more average storm activity month recorded 5 major storm dates. It was August 31 and September 1 that pummeled the industry to its final loss numbers. With almost 1,800 claims and a cost of more than $43 million, this storm was still only the second worst of the season.

The single largest loss day was July 22 with more than 1,300 claims at a cost of more than $53 million. July accounted for more than 43 percent of claims paid for the year.

With the number of claims-to-policies being 12 percent higher than the 5-year average, it was really the severity of the damage that devastated the industry. The average cost per claim was more than double the 5-year average.

Total sums insured saw a slight increase year-over-year, likely due to the increase crop prices and early crop outlook prior to the drought and heat like conditions. With the industry average rate charged continuing to decline for 2021, the current average rates are now at or near their lowest historic levels.

Manitoba records sunny results for the hail industry

Seeding was mostly complete by early June. The absence of rain was a concern early after a dry winter. With below average precipitation through June, and some frost and pest concerns, crops had a below average start.

Manitoba’s hail season did not really get underway until mid-July. The dry summer provided little convective weather to produce storm activity. The industry reported only 4 major storms in July resulting in 419 claims with a payout of $6.4 million.

Historically July is one of the most active months. With the dry weather throughout the summer, Manitoba recorded below average claim activity. The number of claims to policy was down 66 percent from average.  Hail frequency (active weather) was down about 15 percent from average. The average cost per claim (severity) was up about 23 percent compared to the 5-year average.

Total claim payments were more than $15 million, comparable to 2020, resulting in an overall loss ratio of 26 percent. Industry reporting sums insured were up about 10 percent. The industry average rate charged saw a minimal decline, likely due to the historic loss results and the continued competitive nature of the industry.

Who we are:

The Canadian Crop Hail Association (CCHA) has been serving the crop insurance industry in one form or another since 1915. It is a member-driven organization that represents the interests of the Canadian Crop Hail managing general agencies and insurance companies. CCHA member companies write Crop-Hail insurance product totaling more than $300 million in premium, and liability totaling more than $8 billion. Our companies service agriculture producers in the western prairies. These private and government organizations together provide a risk management tool to the Western Canadian prairie farmer. Members are Additional Municipal Hail Ltd. (Saskatchewan), AG Direct Hail Insurance Ltd, Agriculture Financial Services Corporation (Alberta), Canadian Hail Agencies Inc, Co-operative Hail Insurance Company, Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation Rain and Hail Insurance Service Ltd., New Brunswick Agricultural Insurance Commission and Palliser Insurance Company Ltd.

 

CCHA reports near-record claims in 2021

Extremely damaging storms resulted in near-record claims for farmers across Western Canada in 2021 despite a decrease in overall storm activity, according to the Canadian Crop Hail Association.

“What looked to be an average storm season at the start resulted in record high claim payments,” said Scott McQueen, CCHA president. “The industry’s claims payments were up 78 percent compared to the 5-year average.”

Insurance payments to prairie producers will total more than $322 million – an amount not seen since 2008. Producer premiums totaled more than $309 million for an industry loss ratio of 104 percent.

CCHA insured more than $8 billion in crops in 2021.

Saskatchewan was the hardest hit with an industry loss ratio of 134 percent compared to 65 percent in 2020. Alberta followed with a 97 percent loss ratio, compared to 75 percent in 2020. Manitoba was the only province to record a positive year with a loss ratio of more than 26 percent.

“We are proud to have helped prairie farmers weather an extremely tough season and have the resources they will need to plant again next year to grow the food we rely on,” McQueen said. “We also thank our adjusters who worked tirelessly to stay ahead of the combines and ensure farmers received much-needed relief in a timely fashion.”

CCHA members have completed final hail damage claims.

It’s never too early to start planning insurance coverage for next season, McQueen said.

“We are all looking forward to what we hope will be a better season next year. CCHA member companies are ready to help growers find the insurance products they need to manage weather risks and protect the investments they make in their crops,” he said. “I encourage growers to contact a CCHA member company today so we can start planning for 2022.”

For more and past reports: cropinsuranceincanada.org

The Canadian Crop Hail Association (CCHA) has been serving the crop insurance industry since 1915. It is a member-driven organization that represents the interests of the Canadian Crop Hail managing general agencies and insurance companies. These private and government organizations together provide a risk management tool to the farmers across Canada. Members are Additional Municipal Hail Ltd. (Saskatchewan), AG Direct Hail Insurance Ltd, Agriculture Financial Services Corporation (Alberta), Canadian Hail Agencies Inc, Co-operative Hail Insurance Company, Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation Rain and Hail Insurance Service Ltd., New Brunswick Agricultural Insurance Commission and Palliser Insurance Company Ltd.

Severe late August storms damage crops across Western Canada

A series of severe storms produced hail as large as golf balls, high wind and a tornadic event that damaged crops across Western Canada, according to the Canadian Crop Hail Association.

The storms ended months of dry weather and created challenging conditions for harvest. Insurance adjusters are working around the clock to complete claims ahead of the combines.

CCHA member companies are investigating more than 1,467 claims of crop damage from storms that occurred Aug. 21-28.

Darryl Tiefenbach, of Additional Municipal Hail, said storms damaged canola, wheat, soybean and other crops in the Saskatchewan communities of Kindersley, Rosetown, Biggar, Saskatoon, Abbey, Assiniboia, Moose Jaw, Cupar, Melville, Moosomin, Watson and Spalding.

“We expect there will be some areas as heavily damaged as we have seen throughout the 2021 hail season so far,” he said.

Brendan Blight, of Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation, said storms damaged crops with pea size hail in the Manitoba communities of Boissevain, Souris, Brandon, Mcauley and Hamiota.

“Harvest is underway and we will have to work to stay in front of the combines,” he said.

Scott McQueen, of Palliser Insurance, said storms damaged canola and cereals in all Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Alberta with pea-to-golf ball size hail.

“Some severe damage to both cereals and canola was reported,” he said. “Standing canola was hit hard in both Saskatchewan and Alberta. Poor crop condition in many areas is contributing to well above average hail payouts.”

Tyson Ryhorchuk, of Rain and Hail Insurance Service, said storms damaged canola, wheat, barley and corn with pea-to-marble size hail in the Saskatchewan communities of Tantallon, Esterhazy, Melville, Rosetown, Kindersley, Brock, Unity, Plenty, Dodsland, Cut Knife and the Manitoba communities of Virden, Kola, Dunrea and Killarney.

“Wet conditions have slowed progress on claims adjusting,” he said. “Please be patient for adjusters, as they are working around the clock to complete claims. If you need to harvest your fields, please be sure to leave adequate strips for adjusters as set forth by the company.”

Murray Bantle, of Co-operative Hail Insurance Company, said storms damaged canola and cereals in the Manitoba communities of Brandon, Minto and Baldur.

“With 95 percent of our August claims adjusted so far in Manitoba, the number of claims is below the 5-year average as are days with storm activity,” he said. “Our average per claim remains just slightly below the 5-year average.”

In Saskatchewan, Bantle said storms damaged crops with pea-to-ping pong ball size hail. He said wind and a tornadic event are factors in adjusting for crop damage.

“August 23 through August 29 was a week of unsettled active weather heavily damaging many ripe crops across the province,” he said. “With little to no rain over the previous two months this last week of August has quickly added some topsoil moisture. Producers were into the beginning of an early harvest on dry and droughted crops. However, this moisture quickly put a stop to further progress.”

He said 31 percent of August claims are adjusted in Saskatchewan.

“So far our number of claims is below the 5-year average,” he said. “The number of days with storm activity is below the 5-year average as well.  The average per claim so far is above the 5-year average.”

Cassandra Holt, of Canadian Hail Agencies, said storms damaged crops in the Alberta community of High River. In Manitoba, she said storms damaged crops south of Brandon. Holt said Storms damaged crops in the Saskatchewan communities of Kindersley, Rosetown, Prelate, Abbey, Fiske, Blumenhof, Fort Qu’appelle, Moose Jaw, Balcarres, Bigger, Plenty, Outlook, and Stornoway.

Brenda Ebeling, of Agriculture Financial Services Corporation, said storms damaged crops in the Alberta communities of Atmore, west of Rocky View, west of Rosebud west of Strathmore, Standard, Hussar, west of Finnegan, southwest of Coronation, east of Blackie and southwest of Bassano.

Growers report minor storm damage as harvest continues across Western Canada

Harvest continues across Western Canada with growers reporting minor storm damage and insurance adjusters moving quickly to finalize claims, according to the Canadian Crop Hail Association.

CCHA member companies are investigating more than 53 claims of crop damage from storms that occurred Aug. 15-22.

Scott McQueen, of Palliser Insurance, said storms damaged crops in Alberta and Manitoba with hail ranging from pea to marble size. The damaged was mostly minor.

“We had a light week of claims in Western Canada as harvest continues,” he said. “Rainfall has slowed harvest in many areas as adjusters move quickly to wrap up claims. Claims are finishing quickly as many of the fields have been opened up for easy access.”

Cassandra Holt, of Canadian Hail Agencies, said storms damaged crops in the Saskatchewan community of Strathclair.

Ellen Grant, of AG Direct Hail Insurance, said storms damaged crops in the Alberta communities of Hussar and Standard. In Manitoba, she said storms damaged crops in Oakburn, Sandy Lake, and Boissevain.

Murray Bantle, of Co-operative Hail Insurance Company, said storms damaged canola and wheat in the central Manitoba communities of Shoal Lake, Elphinstone, Sandy Lake and Strathclair. The damage ranged from light to medium, he said.

“The number of claims are below the 5-year average in July for Manitoba,” he said. “Hail event days are slightly below average. The claim severity, or cost-per-claim, is above average. For August, so far, our number of claims is below the average. Hail event days are below average and cost-per-claim is nearing average. So far, it has been a light hail year in Manitoba.”

In Saskatchewan, storms damaged canola. The damage was light, Bantle said.

“Our July claims are 97 percent complete in Saskatchewan,” he said. “The number of claims is below average. Hail event days are slightly below average. The claim severity is above average.  For August, we are 91 percent complete. So far, our number of claims is below average. Hail event days are below average and cost-per-claim is near average. So far, the year has seen below average activity in Saskatchewan but the severity is much above average.”

Brendan Blight, of Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation, said storms produced pea size hail that damaged crops in the Manitoba communities of Foxwarren, Elm Creek and Oakburn.

“The damage was very minor with a scattering of a few claims across the province,” he said. “Harvest is progressing with a large chunk of the cereals having been harvested in areas.”

For more information and past reports: cropinsuranceincanada.org

The Canadian Crop Hail Association (CCHA) has been serving the crop insurance industry since 1915. It is a member-driven organization that represents the interests of the Canadian Crop Hail managing general agencies and insurance companies. These private and government organizations together provide a risk management tool to the farmers across Canada. Members are Additional Municipal Hail Ltd. (Saskatchewan), AG Direct Hail Insurance Ltd, Agriculture Financial Services Corporation (Alberta), Canadian Hail Agencies Inc, Co-operative Hail Insurance Company, Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation Rain and Hail Insurance Service Ltd., New Brunswick Agricultural Insurance Commission and Palliser Insurance Company Ltd.

Storms damage crops as harvest continues

Storms damaged crops across much of Western Canada as harvest continues, according to the Canadian Crop Hail Association.

The association is urging farmers to leave enough damaged crops in the field to allow adjusters to process claims.

“Remember to leave adequate samples if you are harvesting your crops prior to an adjuster arriving,” said association President Scott McQueen of Palliser Insurance Company. “If you need more information on what to leave, please contact your insurance provider.”

The storms occurred Aug. 3-9

CCHA member companies are investigating more than 327 claims of crop damage during the time period.

McQueen said storms damaged crops in central to northern Alberta and central to northern Saskatchewan. The damage ranged from light to medium.

“We are seeing lots of wind damage along with hail in certain areas,” he said.

Cassandra Holt, of Canadian Hail Agencies, said storms damaged crops in the Alberta community of Drumheller.

Murray Bantle, of Co-operative Hail Insurance Company, said storms damaged cereals and oilseeds in northwest Saskatchewan from Unity to North Battleford. Damage was ranged from light to heavy.

“The completed claims, or claim severity in Saskatchewan, remains well above the 5-year average for our company,” he said. “With the dry crop conditions, hailstorms have taken their toll on the standing crops. Harvest has started on the pulse crops of peas and lentils, with the dry hot conditions advancing harvest quickly in the southern part of the province.”

Ellen Grant, of AG Direct Hail Insurance, said storms damaged crops in the Alberta communities of Cherhill, Barrhead, Three Hills, Red Deer County, Beiseker, Olds, Rockyview, Del Bonita, Drumheller, Acme and Magrath.

Jackie Sanden, of Agriculture Financial Services Corporation, said storms damaged crops in the Alberta communities of Fort Assiniboine, southwest Barrhead, Vega and Neerlandia. They also damaged crops in Crossfield, Rocky View, Three Hills, Wimborne, Finnegan, Acme, Alix and Innisfail.

Darryl Tiefenbach, of Additional Municipal Hail, said storms damaged crops in the Saskatchewan communities of Rosetown, North Battleford and Glaslyn. Damage was moderated, he said.

“We are currently adjusting the July 22 storm date in all areas affect by this largest hail event of 2021,” he said. “We will have all claims for this storm date adjusted in the next 8-10 days.”

Brendan Blight, of Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation, said storms damaged crops with pea sized hail in the Manitoba communities of Deloraine, southeast of Dauphin, Lyleton and north of Altona.

He said low rainfall has stressed crops across the province.

“Damage is minor for the most part,” he said. “There are reports of larger damage and stones north of Altona from the evening of August 9 but we are still fielding phone calls and do not have firm claim numbers yet.”

For more information and past reports: cropinsuranceincanada.org

The Canadian Crop Hail Association (CCHA) has been serving the crop insurance industry since 1915. It is a member-driven organization that represents the interests of the Canadian Crop Hail managing general agencies and insurance companies. These private and government organizations together provide a risk management tool to the farmers across Canada. Members are Additional Municipal Hail Ltd. (Saskatchewan), AG Direct Hail Insurance Ltd, Agriculture Financial Services Corporation (Alberta), Canadian Hail Agencies Inc, Co-operative Hail Insurance Company, Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation Rain and Hail Insurance Service Ltd., New Brunswick Agricultural Insurance Commission and Palliser Insurance Company Ltd.

Late July storms damage crops across Western Canada

Late July storms damaged crops across Western Canada with hail as large as golf balls, according to the Canadian Crop Hail Association. The storms occurred July 21-30. CCHA member companies are investigating more than 311 claims of crop damage during the time period.

Murray Bantle, of Co-operative Hail Insurance Company, said storms damaged cereals and oilseeds in northwest Manitoba with hail as large as an inch.

“Manitoba has seen minimal hail activity so far this season,” he said. “All reported and completed storms are light damage.”

In Saskatchewan, storms damaged cereals, legumes and oilseeds in the east central and west central areas of the province with ping pong ball sized hail, he said.

“In Saskatchewan, June storm activity was below the 5-year average, as well as storm severity,” he said. “July storm activity below the 5-year average but storm severity was way above normal so far on completed claims.”

Jackie Sanden, of Agriculture Financial Services Corporation, said storms damaged crops in dozens of communities across Alberta.

Cassandra Holt, of Canadian Hail Agencies, said storms damaged crops in the Alberta community of Barrhead. In Manitoba, storms damaged crops in Swan River and Dauphin. Storms damaged crops in the Saskatchewan community of Norquay, she said.

Ellen Grant, of AG Direct Hail Insurance, said storms damaged crops in the Alberta communities of Barrhead, Gem, Westlock, Viking and Lacombe. In Saskatchewan, storms damaged crops in Pelly, she said. Manitoba reported storm damage in Hazelridge and Sifton.

Scott McQueen, of Palliser Insurance Company, said storms damaged crops across Saskatchewan with small to golf ball sized hail. He said some of the damage was severe to dry crops.

“Poor crop conditions are making loss payments skyrocket,” he said, noting that harvest is underway in all three provinces.

Above normal dry conditions on the prairies have been the main reason for a slower hail season, said Darryl Tiefenbach, of Additional Municipal Hail.

His company recorded 1,300 claims from June 5 to July 17.

But, he said, recent storms have been much stronger.

“Some of the early reports indicate there was varying sized hail with rain and wind,” he said. “Pictures of some of the hail stones near Invermay were the size of baseballs.”

For more information and past reports: cropinsuranceincanada.org

The Canadian Crop Hail Association (CCHA) has been serving the crop insurance industry since 1915. It is a member-driven organization that represents the interests of the Canadian Crop Hail managing general agencies and insurance companies. These private and government organizations together provide a risk management tool to the farmers across Canada. Members are Additional Municipal Hail Ltd. (Saskatchewan), AG Direct Hail Insurance Ltd, Agriculture Financial Services Corporation (Alberta), Canadian Hail Agencies Inc, Co-operative Hail Insurance Company, Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation Rain and Hail Insurance Service Ltd., New Brunswick Agricultural Insurance Commission and Palliser Insurance Company Ltd

CCHA insured more than $6.7 billion in 2020

Prairie farmers continue to insure their crops for hail damage at near record levels. 2020 was a below the 5-year average for claims but endured higher than average claim payments. Overall, the industry will record a near breakeven type of year. Claims produced insurance payouts of over $192 million on over 12,100 claims in Western Canada. Producer premiums totaled just over $300 million for an industry loss ratio of 64 percent.

Timely rains and good seeding conditions gave producers some early hope after a poor fall harvest.  For some areas, the weather dried out quickly.  Reserve moisture helped many producers across the prairies. Some crops did suffer from insufficient moisture and excess heat.  Indications are that crops range from excellent to average for the most part.  With industry premiums decreasing an average of 15% over the past 5 years, producers welcome one of the few declining agricultural input costs.

Some parts of the prairies received less than average storm days throughout the summer, but storm severity made up for the decrease. July storms caused havoc across Alberta and Saskatchewan.  But a single-day late August event in Saskatchewan was costly to ripe crops.  Manitoba was spared after 2 years of higher-than-average losses.  Activity was widespread around the prairies.

Hardest hit was Alberta with an industry loss ratio of 83% similar to 2019.  Saskatchewan followed with a 65% loss ratio, down from 95% a year earlier. Manitoba saw limited hail activity posting a 29% loss ratio after suffering a 93% loss ratio in 2019.

After a year of contrasts and challenges producers welcomed the ideal seeding conditions.  2019 poor harvest conditions provided much needed sub soil moisture to help get the 2020 seeding year off to a great start.  Summers timely rains for many provided what looked to be above average crop conditions.  A warm dry fall provided many straight days of harvest allowing producers to reap the benefits of the growing season.

The summer was mostly average for the number of storm days.  The storm season was spread mostly through June to August.  September was spared allowing producers to finish up harvest.  Claim frequency (Claim to Policy) was down 4% from the 5-year average. Storm severity (Average per Claim) was up 10% from the average.

Alberta hail claims result in second straight year of negative results

Alberta’s storm activity resulted in similar activity to 2019 for the industry. An early severe storm that pummeled the city of Calgary also caused crop damage, however, early crop recovery helped lessen industry losses.  Claim activity was up over 26% compared to the 5-year average, while claim severity at more than $20,000 per claim was higher by more than 20% compared to the average.  Total hail payments for 2020 were reported at just over $69 million.  The overall reported loss ratio was 83%.  Total sums insured increased for 2020, with rates appearing to stabilize.

Saskatchewan reported average loss year

Saskatchewan saw a decrease in storm activity compared to 2019. A late August storm dampened what was looking to be a light hail season for industry insurers. The late storm on harvest ready crops was the most expensive of the year.  Claim activity was down 1% compared to the 5-year average, while claim severity at $13,000 per claim was a decrease of about 15% compared to average.  Total hail payments for 2020 were reported at just over $163 million.  The overall reported loss ratio was 65%.  Total sums insured increased for 2020, with average rates continuing to soften.

Manitoba records light hail activity for 2020

Manitoba recorded a decrease in storm activity compared to 2019. Little storm activity resulted in positive results for the province.  Claim activity was down 59% compared to the 5-year average, while claim severity at $9,900 per claim was down 22% compared to the average.  Total hail payments for 2020 were reported at over $15 million.  The overall reported loss ratio was 29%.  Total sums insured decreased slightly for 2020, with average rates decreasing slightly as well.

Who we are: The Canadian Crop Hail Association (CCHA) has been serving the crop insurance industry since 1915. It is a member-driven organization that represents the interests of the Canadian Crop Hail managing general agencies and insurance companies. These private and government organizations together provide a risk management tool to the farmers across Canada. Members are Additional Municipal Hail Ltd. (Saskatchewan), AG Direct Hail Insurance Ltd, Agriculture Financial Services Corporation (Alberta), Canadian Hail Agencies Inc, Co-operative Hail Insurance Company, Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation Rain and Hail Insurance Service Ltd., New Brunswick Agricultural Insurance Commission and Palliser Insurance Company Ltd.

CCHA thanks farmers, adjusters as unprecedented 2020 season ends

Members of the Canadian Crop Hail Association are proud to have helped farmers in Western Canada manage the risks of Mother Nature safely and effectively during the unprecedented 2020 season, the association’s president said.

“We started the 2020 hail season in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic that required new social distancing guidelines to keep our adjusters and our customers safe,” said Scott McQueen, CCHA president. “On top of that, Mother Nature didn’t let up this year with damaging hail, flooding rain and tornadoes. We want to thank our adjusters, who adapted to the new safety guidelines while providing the same great service to farmers. We also want to thank all of our customers for growing the food we rely on during this challenging time.”

CCHA members have completed final hail damage claims.

“On a positive note for 2020, the relatively warm and dry fall allowed farmers to complete harvest well ahead of scheduled in most places across Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan,”

McQueen said. “We congratulate growers on the successful harvest and look forward to serving them again next year.”

It’s never too early to start planning insurance coverage for next season, McQueen said.

“CCHA member companies are ready to help growers find the insurance products they need to manage weather risks and protect the investments they make in their crops,” he said. “I encourage growers to contact a CCHA member company today so we can start planning for 2021.”

 

Milder weather means fewer storms as harvest continues

Milder weather resulted in fewer damaging storms across western Canada as harvest nears the halfway mark in some places, according to the Canadian Crop Hail Association.

The storms occurred Sept. 4-11.

CCHA member companies are investigating more than 16 claims of crop damage during the time period.

Murray Bantle, of Co-operative Hail Insurance Company, said storms damaged oilseeds in the Manitoba communities of Benito and McCreary.

“Only small scattered thunderstorms this week for Manitoba,” he said. “Our August claims in Manitoba are 94 percent complete at this time.”

In Saskatchewan, storms damaged oilseeds and cereals in Bethune, Lucky Lake, Nipawin and Wilkie.

“Scattered thunderstorm activity caused damage on ready-to-harvest crops,” he said. “We are asking growers to make sure to leave adequate samples to adjust from. Harvest is now nearing 50 percent complete according to the provincial crop report. August storms are now 90 percent adjusted in Saskatchewan.”

Jackie Sanden, of Agriculture Financial Services Corporation, said storms damaged crops in the Alberta communities of La Glace, Pincher Creek, Calmar and Thorhild.

Cassandra Holt, of Canadian Hail Agencies, said storms damaged crops in the Alberta community of Westlock. In Saskatchewan, storms damaged crops in Norquay.