Alberta has seen more than its fair share of hailstorms this summer, many of which have caused significant damage to homes, specifically siding. It is estimated that the hailstorm that hit Calgary’s north east on June 13 cost $1.2 billion in damage — the fourth most expensive natural disaster in Canada’s history[i].

Alberta’s weather can be unpredictable and that means we need to prepare for the unexpected. Ensure you know what’s covered, or not covered, under your personal home insurance policy by contacting your insurance agent. To learn what’s covered under your new home warranty policy, visit the Homeowners Portal.

Warranty vs personal home insurance

There is often confusion when it comes to the difference between home warranty insurance and personal home insurance. Home warranty insurance protects homeowners from any issues from the building of the home, while personal home insurance protects against damage and theft. For example, if your window was installed incorrectly, causing a leak, it would be a home warranty insurance claim. If that same window was broken from a hailstorm, that would fall under personal home insurance.

Be wary of cash deals

All repair work done after you take possession of your home is excluded from warranty coverage. While acts of nature, including hail, fire, smoke or flooding, is covered by personal home insurance not warranty insurance, the repairs could affect your warranty coverage down the line.

After an event such as a hailstorm, many “cash deals” pop up with the promise of quick and cheap home repairs. Be wary of these deals —if repair work is done incorrectly, and leads to further damage of your home, that damage is not covered by your warranty policy, leaving yourself and your family unprotected. For example, if you replace your shingles due to hail damage and there was a water leak that damaged your homes building envelope, that damage would not be covered.

Steps to repairing damage

So, what do you do if hail damages your home? Contact your personal home insurance provider to start a claim. If your claim is approved, your next step is to select a reputable company to complete the repair work. Here are a few tips to help select a good company to work with:

  • Ensure the contactor is licenced to work in your area, and is bonded and insured
  • Pick a contractor who specializes in your project type
  • Ask for a written contract so you know exactly what you are paying for and what you and your contractor are responsible for
  • Shop locally: a company involved in your community is going to be more familiar with things such as weather or soil conditions and will likely be around if a problem comes up later.

What if my home is still under construction?

If your home is still in the building stage when a storm hits, contact your builder to determine next steps. Your builder will work with you and their trades to evaluate and resolve any damage caused.

[i] (Insurance Bureau of Canada, 2020)

The content provided in this blog is for general information purposes only and nothing contained herein should be taken or relied upon as legal advice. Although every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of information shared on this blog, the information may inadvertently contain inaccuracies.