It has been a fairly normal summer for the volume of crop hail claims, but the severity of damage is higher than usual.
“We’ve seen more black fields after a hail storm than we normally see,” says Rodney Schoettler, chief executive officer of Saskatchewan Municipal Hail Insurance. (SMHI) “Traditionally, a big stone is not the fear for a hail insurance company. It is the smaller ones (stones) with lots of wind.”
Schoettler says farmers are buying more crop hail insurance as a way to mitigate risk. SMHI reports that it has insured in excess of 16 million acres, which is a new record.
“Normally, we don’t really start writing hail insurance until about June 5th. We were going gangbusters in the last week of May. We probably added another 600,000 to 700,000 acres to our book. The big change is the indemnity. Farmers are buying more per acre. That tells us they want to protect their investment.”
SMHI is releasing a weekly map that illustrates claims numbers by township across the province. The latest map is above and covers the period between July 7th and July 21st. Updates are issued on Twitter and Facebook.