July 2012 Hail Storm

Edmonton is not well known for Hail. Not that we do not get any, but damage is not enough to initiate preventative programs like Calgary has, where Insurance Companies fund airplanes that seed the clouds before they get to Calgary. The year that I lived in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, my best friend’s wife planted tomatoes three times after Hail destroyed them twice.

The July 2012 storm is the only significant Hail Damage that I have experienced in more than 40 years in Edmonton. At the time, we had just moved and were waiting for the new owner to take possession of our old house. Because the two houses were only three miles apart, the same storm hit both houses.

Even though we had been living in the new house for a month and a half, I had been unable to park the car in the garage. The driveway had been poured three weeks later and required four weeks to cure before it could safely take the weight of a vehicle, even momentarily. Those 28 days ended just about the time that the Hail Storm hit.

Of course, there was no way to know that this Hail forecast was The Hail Storm of the Year. In fact, it was fairly localized, at least in intensity, to my part of town. Because it was parked outside our new house, the car was significantly damaged, with at least 40 dents that had to be fixed, as the vehicle was less than two years old.

Meanwhile, the new house was not damaged at all. The old house, however, was a major problem. It had been sold before the damage but the storm hit before the Possession Date. I was in a Legal Contract to deliver the house the way the new owner had seen it, before the Hail Damage. Minor items that I would have chosen to ignore until the next time I painted the fence or deck now had to be fixed before the Possession Date.

The Deck had been painted two months prior, in preparation for putting the house on the market. Luckily, I was able to get the same painter back, and have him take care of the damage to the fences, as well.

The Siding was a different issue. Vinyl siding is pretty tough stuff, but a large hail stone managed to hit the most fragile part: where one piece joins another and doubles over on itself. Even though it was covered by a four foot overhang, the Hail was driven almost Horizontally by the Wind and it broke a piece of siding completely off. That same Wind took the missing piece to points unknown, not that I could glue it back on anyway.

10 years of Sun had bleached the siding enough that I could not simply replace one piece of Siding. The entire wall of Siding had to be replaced. Worse yet, if I could not find the same colour and type of Siding, I would have had to replace the Siding on the entire house!

My insurance adjuster wisely suggested that I contact the builder to track down the company that originally did the Siding, even though that was 10 years ago. He was able to find someone with stock of the original Siding, I was able to get an estimate and have it approved by the Adjuster.

It was the middle of an Oil Boom, and Residential Construction workers were hard to find. The work did not actually get done until just days before the One Year deadline for insurance claims work to be completed. Fortunately, the new owner was not concerned as the small missing piece of Siding was next to impossible to find unless you knew where you were looking.

One major advantage of having policies with the same insurance company for both House and Car became immediately obvious. Since one event, the Hail Storm, caused damage to both, there was only one Deductible for both Claims.