Over the weekend and into the beginning of this week, we have experienced some serious windstorms and plough winds across the province. Winds exceeding over 90km/hr in some places.
Many things can go wrong during these windstorms. Debris can go flying into vehicles and damage them. Aka: Shopping carts. More dramatically: Trampolines can go flying into neighbours yards or houses. Been there done that, bought the T-shirt. Therefore, it is important to carry adequate liability coverage, volunteer property damage, and it is also important to insure your home and belongings in case the wind is strong enough to cause serious damage to your home, belongings or other property you own.
Well the damage has already occurred, what do I do now?
If the damage is simply cosmetic, you should try and fix it yourself or hire a contractor to provide an estimate on the damage. We have a “find a contractor” form on our website you can use to find a contractor if you do not have a referral and are unable to find one. Scroll to the bottom of our claims page and clock on the “find a contractor” icon.
If damage is extensive, you should make sure you try to prevent any further damage from happening. Such as tarping & sealing off an exposed roof. Making sure no water can enter the home or further damage can occur to existing shingles. Make sure no trees or other objects will fall or harm any other property. By taking some proactive measures, you’re helping yourself from additional hassle on future damages, as well as helping your insurance company save some money from unnecessary costs in the claim; this will undoubtedly strengthen the partnership between you.
The next step is contacting your insurance broker. They will begin a claims process with your insurance carrier to assess the damages, review your coverage & deductible, and if everything is covered they will proceed with the claim. The insurer will work with you to either negotiate an actual cash settlement or a strategy to begin replacing/repairing the damage to your home to recapture replacement cost coverage (if applicable). When rebuilding/repairing the damages, the insurance company usually requires 3 contractors quotes to get an adequate idea on the costs to repair the damages. If you cannot find 3 contractors, feel free to use our app again to obtain these quotes.
How can I prevent damage from happening again?
There is no “sure-fire” way of preventing a windstorm claim. However, using high wind-rated materials, (metal shingles, hurricane truss straps, bin anchors etc) while keeping your belongings anchored or stored in a safe environment will help dramatically reduce the chance of a wind claim.
To show you how extensive wind damage can be, here is an example of a severe windstorm in Ontario and Quebec 2 years ago:
- May 4-5, 2018, wind gusts of up to 126 km/h in southern Ontario and Quebec, which knocked out power for 600,000 hydro customers. Combining that loss with the tornadoes in those two provinces and insured losses from just those two wind events were close to $1 billion – about half of the approximately $1.9 billion in total insured losses for the year.
These claims costs, unfortunately, impact our national insurance rates and markets. Many insurance companies have scaled to a nationwide size and to mitigate these catastrophic losses, we all end up paying a small portion, in one way or another. In Saskatchewan, we may not have damages that add up to this wild amount, as we are less populated and more spread out, but we can have serious wind losses here as well.
- For example, in 2010, Saskatchewan had over $100 million of weather related insurance claims alone.
The forecast helps us be mindful of what could happen, but we can never predict the weather exactly. It is important to use the tools and information we are given to make smart decisions.. All we can do is make the best with what we’ve got. That being said, there are things that are in your control, such as: making sure your policy is “air-tight,” please review your coverage and deductibles to make sure you understand and are prepared for a potential claim, and then make sure you prepare your home, business, outbuildings and belongings so that you can be ready for the next windstorm.
Thanks for reading. Stay safe out there!