Hail: What you need to know and how to prepare

Hailstorms in Canada are becoming more frequent. Alberta and the Prairies are particularly prone to hailstorms from June-September, but hailstorms can occur anywhere in Canada. According to the City of Calgary, hailstones as large as grapefruits have been reported in Canada, but even smaller hail can cause significant damage to your home, business, or automobile. 

Some steps you can take to prepare for hailstorms:

  • Assemble an emergency preparedness kit and make sure to replenish any missing items regularly. This kit should include water, non-perishable food, radio, flashlight, first aid kit and more. See a full list of items recommended by the Red Cross here.

  • Prevent damage to vehicles by parking them in a covered area, such as a garage or carport.

  • If you don’t have access to impact resistant windows, you can install window safety films to help protect your existing windows.

  • When making repairs or upgrades to your house, consider investing in impact resistant and resilient building materials to help prevent future damage.  

  • Keep updated on local weather forecasts. Oftentimes, thunderstorms can also include hail.

  • In the event of hail, seek shelter and avoid windows, doors and skylights. Closing curtains in front of windows can help contain glass if your window breaks.  

Know what your insurance covers

It’s important to always read your insurance policies, so you know what coverage you have before you need it. Many disputes arise because consumers believe their insurance policy covers something, when it does not.

Before you’re impacted by damage as a result of a hailstorm, check with your insurance provider to confirm if your policy covers hail damage specifically.

What to do if you suffered damage from a hailstorm

Start a claim by contacting your insurance company. Make sure you include as much detail as possible about the damage.

If your insurance company is a GIO member, you can find out how to submit a claim or contact them in our member directory.

What to do if you are unhappy the results of your claim

If you’re unhappy with the results of your insurance claim or have questions about the process, GIO is here to help. We offer free, independent and impartial help with your home, auto and business insurance disputes. Find out how to submit a complaint.  

Additional resources to help you prepare:


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