The Canadian Crop Hail Association (CCHA) says extremely damaging storms resulted in near-record claims for farmers across Western Canada in 2021 despite a decrease in overall storm activity.

“What looked to be an average storm season at the start resulted in record-high claim payments,” said CCHA President Scott McQueen. “The industry’s claims payments were up 78 percent compared to the 5-year average.”

Insurance payments to Prairie producers will total more than $322 million – an amount not seen since 2008. Producer premiums totalled more than $309 million for an industry loss ratio of 104 percent.

CCHA insured more than $8 billion in crops in 2021.

Saskatchewan was the hardest hit with an industry loss ratio of 134 percent compared to 65 percent in 2020. Alberta followed with a 97 percent loss ratio, compared to 75 percent in 2020. Manitoba was the only province to record a positive year with a loss ratio of more than 26 percent.

“We are proud to have helped prairie farmers weather an extremely tough season and have the resources they will need to plant again next year to grow the food we rely on,” McQueen said. “We also thank our adjusters who worked tirelessly to stay ahead of the combines and ensure farmers received much-needed relief in a timely fashion.”

CCHA members have completed final hail damage claims.

McQueen said It’s never too early to start planning insurance coverage for next season.