Backlog of work means insurance claims will take time

Alberta has seen some crazy weather this summer and Lacombe is no exception.

  • Aug. 8, 2013 8:00 a.m.

Alberta has seen some crazy weather this summer and Lacombe is no exception.

After the severe storms that hit Lacombe and elsewhere in Central Alberta this summer, particularly the violent storm on the night of July 20, local insurance companies are seeing hefty amounts of claims for damage to homes and other property from Lacombe and the surrounding area.

“Our office alone got probably 180 claims from the storm on July 20,” said Dawn Gordon, insurance broker for Sims & Associates in Lacombe. Darren King, also a broker with Sims, added that those claims were within the first two days after the storm.

As such, it is taking longer than usual for insurance claims to go through and it may take some time for everyone to be reimbursed, said Gordon.

“People are just going to have to be patient,” said Gordon.

Not only is Central Alberta facing a rash of claims because of hail and other weather-related damage, communities affected by the flooding in southern Alberta are also making claims for related damages.

While these claims don’t really affect Lacombe brokers or insurance agencies, they do affect the insurance companies they deal with that actually provide the coverage. The result is a massive backlog of claims.

“There are only so many adjusters in the province, a limited amount,” said King. He added that some companies are contracting adjusters from outside Alberta to deal with claims. Even so, with so many adjusters tied up dealing with flood-related claims to the south, it may take some day for claims being made in Lacombe to be dealt with, said King.

Not only that, even after adjusters have an opportunity to examine damages and appraisals have been made, there is still the actual repair work to be done. Many of the contractors insurance companies deal with are facing the same problem and are also facing a backlog of work.

As for how long it might take to have repairs and reimbursements made once a claim goes through, Leanne Simpson, another broker with Sims, said it entirely depends on what company the individual is covered by. Some are spread thin with so many claims and taking a long time to process them while others are taking nearly no time at all.

For anyone who has experienced damage of any kind because of the recent storms, the first thing to do is get a hold of their insurance company or broker, said Gordon.

Once that is done, do whatever you can to mitigate the damage and prevent further damage, she added.

This might mean boarding up broken windows, taping up damaged siding on a house, or tarring damaged shingles. In the event that some kind of repair needs to be made, be sure to photograph the damage first so that adjusters still have some kind of record of the damage, said King.

It is also important to keep all receipts for any purchases necessary to make emergency repairs, he added.

When examining your property for damage, be sure to do a thorough walk-around, said King. It is important to look carefully for damages, as some damage may not be visible from all angles or sides of the building.

King added it is a good idea to take notes (and again, photographs) of the damaged areas.

Because some people have difficulty letting strangers on their property, King said it is important to remember that adjusters need to view the damage to put a claim through. If adjusters can’t view the damage, they can’t make a judgment on it.

It is also a good idea to get the names of all individuals dealt with throughout the claim process, said Simpson. Because the adjuster who deals with the initial claim may not be the same person who comes to view damage.

Keeping notes on who did what makes it easier for everyone involved to keep track of a claim.

Just Posted

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney arrives at the 2021 budget in Edmonton on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta launches COVID vaccine lottery with million-dollar prizes to encourage uptake

The premier says the lottery will offer three prizes worth $1 million a piece, as well as other prizes

The City of Red Deer sits at 249 active cases of the virus, after hitting a peak of 565 active cases on Feb. 22. (Black Press file image)
Red Deer down to 119 active COVID-19 cases

Province identifies 179 new cases Saturday

Member Terry Parsons’ custom built track vehicle.
Forestburg’s Area 53 Racetrack gears up for action-packed season

Site will also host a portion of the ‘Miles of Mayhem’ event in July

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

This undated photo provided by Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails shows a scout donating cookies to firefighters in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, as part of the Hometown Heroes program. As the coronavirus pandemic wore into the spring selling season, many Girl Scout troops nixed their traditional cookie booths for safety reasons. That resulted in millions of boxes of unsold cookies. (Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails via AP)
Thinner Mints: Girl Scouts have millions of unsold cookies

Since majority of cookies are sold in-person, pandemic made the shortfall expected

In this artist’s sketch, Nathaniel Veltman makes a video court appearance in London, Ont., on June 10, 2021 as Justice of the Peace Robert Seneshen (top left) and lawyer Alayna Jay look on. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Alexandra Newbould
Terror charges laid against London attack suspect

Crown says Nathaniel Veltman’s four counts of first-degree murder constitute an act of terrorism

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

Denmark’s Christian Eriksen receives medical attention after collapsing during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group B match between Denmark and Finland at Parken stadium in Copenhagen, Saturday, June 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, Pool)
Christian Eriksen in stable condition, Euro 2020 match resumes

Eriksen was given chest compressions after collapsing on the field during a European Championship

Most Read