Early Hail Storms
Almost every year we experience severe hail storms which occur while crops are in the early stages of growth. In many of these instances, because of the extra moisture accompanying the hail storm, damaged crops recover very well with little to no damage. In cases such as this, when the degree of recovery of the crop may be in doubt, the fairest method of assessing the permanent damage caused to the crop by hail is to defer the final adjustment of the damage for a couple of weeks, or until the crop is headed or podded. The deferment will occur with agreement of both the claimant and adjuster and an Agreement to Defer form will be completed together.
There is often a concern that because an early hail storm may cause delay in maturity, the hailed crop may be subject to damage from early fall frosts. Because of this concern, MHI provides the following frost clause:
“In the event that crops hailed in the early stages of growth receive frost damage, when other similar crops in the area which were not hailed are not frozen, the Association is prepared to review the claim. In order for a frost review to occur, the claimant must leave samples of unharvested crop. The sample must be sufficient in size that in the event of a review, our adjuster can easily identify the type of crop seeded on the parcel in question. A written request for a review must be received on or before October 31st of the current year. Any request received after this date will be refused.”
Each policy issued by Municipal Hail Insurance will cover loss to any insured acre of crop by fire through natural causes and beyond the control of the insured, but not in excess of either cash value or insured value.
Claims Handling Procedure
At Municipal Hail Insurance (MHI) we provide accurate and timely loss assessments along with unparalleled customer service from both our knowledgeable in-house staff and our highly trained field staff. MHI maintains an adequate and continuous reinsurance program in view of the significant values at risk annually insured. This method of protection and risk transfer not only guarantees the payment of claims in heavy loss years but also provides financial stability for the Association.
- A claimant who suffers a loss from hail with damage estimated to be greater than 5% or greater than the deductible in effect can email, fax, phone, mail or login and submit a Notice of Loss to our office within 3 days of the hail storm. The claimant needs to include name and contact information of the insured, the storm date and time, the fields where the hail damage occurred along with the estimated damage and any information pertaining to other insurance in effect at the time of loss.
- It is the responsibility of the insured to inspect all fields for damage before submitting a claim. If the insured is going to be away for an extended period of time it is their responsibility to appoint a representative or a Power of Attorney to monitor their crops while they are away. The appointed representative can submit a Notice of Loss on behalf of the insured and may also represent the insured and accompany the adjuster in the field, however, the representative can only sign the proof of loss if they have been appointed by the insured prior to the field inspection.
- When our office receives a Notice of Loss the information is entered into our system, a claim is created and a claim number is assigned. The insured/claimant then receives a text message (pending their phone number is in our system) that includes their claim number.
- The Claims Manager will then assign the claim to one of our Storm Supervisors. Once that happens, the claimant will receive one final text informing them that their claim has been assigned to an adjuster and that their adjuster will contact them within two weeks to set up a mutually agreed upon date and time to inspect the damaged fields.
- The claimant is encouraged to accompany the adjuster throughout the inspection. All adjusters employed by Municipal Hail Insurance follow the loss adjusting procedures established by the National Crop Insurance Services (NCIS). Where a crop has received previous hail damage, subsequent damage will be calculated on the residue (remaining crop) from the previous damage only.
- Once the adjustment process is complete, a Proof of Loss is generated. This Proof of Loss will show the total loss for all storms to date along with the percentage awarded for each count and the total indemnity owing. The adjuster then presents the Proof of Loss to the claimant. If the claimant agrees with the percentage of loss, both the claimant and the adjuster will sign off on the Proof of Loss. A copy of the Proof of Loss is then emailed, faxed or mailed to the insured and a copy is electronically sent back to head office.
- Upon receipt of the signed Proof of Loss, head office will upload the loss percentages and an indemnity payment will be generated. The indemnity owing will be paid now or deferred as per the claimant’s instructions. All payments are issued by cheque. The claim is then closed and all documentation will be kept at head office.
Complaint Resolution Procedure
At Municipal Hail Insurance we take pride in being a customer driven business while still providing quality services. We strive to make the insurance process as smooth as possible for our customers as we know how stressful dealing with a loss can be. In the rare event that you are not completely satisfied with our services we have outlined the procedure for submitting a complaint down below.
- If you have a concern regarding our agents, staff, services or procedures please let us know by calling our office at (306) 569-1852. You will be directed to one of our staff members who will be able to provide you with advice, help or direction in order to resolve your concern.
- If step one fails, all relevant information will be passed on to the Complaints Officer and the complainant will receive a timeline of when they can expect to hear back from MHI.
- There will be a thorough review done by the Complaints Officer along with any other relevant staff members before a proposed resolution is made. The Complaints Officer will contact the complainant and propose a resolution, which is then either agreed upon by both parties or if the complainant is still not satisfied, they can contact one of the Provincial regulators.
Proof of Loss Dispute Resolution
In the event of a dispute regarding a Proof of Loss where an agreement cannot be reached on the initial assessment, Municipal Hail Insurance has outlined the dispute resolution procedure down below.
- The field adjuster calls in the Storm Supervisor to provide a second opinion. The storm supervisor will meet with the initial adjuster and claimant in the field to reassess the loss in question.
- If step one fails, the claimant can ask for a re-inspection and another adjuster will be assigned by MHI to assess the loss.
- If step two fails to settle the loss, the file moves to an appraisal.
- In the event that the claimant, after signing the Proof of Loss as being acceptable, finds the damage greater than initially agreed to, MHI will take the following action:
- If there is undisturbed evidence of the crop left in the field, the claimant can ask for another assessment of the loss (the results of which are not binding).
- If the crop has been harvested, the claimant could ask the MHI Board to review the claim.
In all cases it is recommended that the claimant contact head office to discuss the options available as certain conditions apply in each case.
When a loss adjustment is contested, a claimant can apply for a re-inspection by filling in the Re-Inspection Information that is included on page 2 of the emailed Inspector’s Report and forward it to head office with a fee of $150.00 per quarter section to be re-inspected. The appeal for re-inspection must be made within three days of the original inspection.
In the event that agreement of loss cannot be reached through re-inspection, the claimant has the right to apply for appraisal within 48 hours of the re-inspection. Appraisal forms will be provided to the claimant by the adjuster performing the re-inspection, where an agreement cannot be reached.
Any claimant who within a period of 29 days from the 1st inspection feels their adjustment was unsatisfactory may apply in writing to have an investigation done. The fee for an investigation is $250.00. The results of the investigation are non-binding.
In the event that a claimant files a notice of loss 31 or more days after the day on which the damage was sustained and adequate evidence of the crop still remains in the field, an assessment will be made when the claimant pays a late filing fee of $250.00 in advance of the adjustment. The late filing fee of $250.00 is non-refundable.
Crops damaged by hail may be subject to a loss factor that is to be applied when calculating the payable loss. Factors will be applied in accordance with National Crop Insurance Services (NCIS) loss adjustment procedures.
Evidence To Be Left Prior To Adjustment
Evidence must be left in the event that the hailed crop will be harvested prior to adjustment. Download Form
Duties of the Members Relevant to the GIO Complaint Resolution Process
General Insurance OmbudService (GIO)
4711 Yonge Street
Toronto, ON M2N 6K8