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Canada - Hail-damage claims by Alberta farmers drop in 2017 as fewer severe storms hit province

Farmers in Alberta were spared the dramatic and devastating hail storms seen in previous years, resulting in fewer claims for hail damage in 2017, two leading crop insurance groups said Monday.

According to the Canadian Crop Hail Association’s final report for the season, hail damage payments to Alberta farmers dropped 60 per cent this year compared to 2016.

Hail payments from the association dropped to $25 million in 2017 from $60 million in 2016 as storm frequency dipped down about 40 per cent from the five-year average and storm severity decreased by about 25 per cent.

Alberta’s Agriculture Financial Services Corp. paid about $160 million for slightly fewer than 3,000 hail-damage claims in 2017 compared to 2016, when there were 4,500 hail-damage claims worth $306 million.

Daniel Graham, manager of business risk management programs, said having a lighter year helps with the premium loss ratios for the fiscal year.

Farmers hoping that the decline in hail storms may lead to smaller premiums may be disappointed.

“Although it’s been light for one year, it won’t have a large impact on premiums over the long haul,” he said.

“But it’s been a good year when it comes to reduced claims for the 2017 crop.”

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