Prairie Hail Claims Up Sharply in 2016

Crop hail insurance claims in Western Canada were up around 50 percent in 2016 versus last year.

The number of claims rose from 13,222 in 2015 to 19,854 in 2016, according to the Canadian Crop Hail Association’s final report for the season.

It’s estimated payouts to farmers will total just over $256 million — well above the 2015 total of $167 million. Producers paid just over $300 million in premiums, resulting an average industry-wide loss ratio of 84.8 percent.

All three prairie provinces saw increased claims and payouts.

Manitoba was hardest hit in terms of loss ratio, at 142.5 per cent; a figure well above the 108 per cent loss ratio reported for that province in 2015. Alberta followed with a loss ratio of 81.8 per cent, compared with a 2015 ratio of 66.3 percent, while Saskatchewan’s loss ratio is estimated at 70.8 percent, up from the 45.6 per cent reported in 2015.

In Alberta, total payouts are estimated at $64 million, versus $50 million last year. Alberta farmers paid around $79 million in premiums.

Saskatchewan farmers are seeing payouts of just over $124 million, after paying premiums of around $176 million.

Manitoba saw losses in the range of $67 million, with premiums totalling $47 million.

The 2016 season also saw a high number of hail events during harvest in September and the first week of October. “An unusually large number of claims are still being assessed, hampered by wet weather and poor field conditions,” notes the CCHA report.

The CCHA, which represents the companies that sell crop hail insurance to farmers in Western Canada, publishes its hail report every two weeks during the hail season.

Related: The Frozen Harvest — Images of Alberta’s Ice Storm

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