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Anniversary of hail storm welcomed

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It was one year ago today when the last hail storm wreaked havoc on area roofs and vehicles—and that is a welcome deadline for both insurance agents and adjusters.

In fact, it will be the first time in two years that hail claims have not been a part of the routine. Last year’s storm came almost one year to the date of its icy predecessor on Aug. 22, 1995.

“It certainly has kept us busy [but] we are all happy to see the prescription date on hail damage,” said Rolf Geissler of Kernaghan Adjusters Limited here yesterday afternoon.

“We’re counting down now,” chuckled Larry Cousineau of Cousineau Brokers Inc., who stressed the actual deadline to file a claim occurred at 12:01 a.m. today.

But as of yesterday, people were still calling in to beat the deadline.

“We’ve had a number of calls, about a dozen new claims," said Cousineau. "I think the buzz word around town is that the deadline is here and people are saying ‘Gee, I wasn’t aware of that.’”

Cousineau couldn’t give any figures on the number of claims processed, or the dollar amount of those claims, due to the fact there were so many.

“It’s very hard to say and, personally, I don’t think I really want to know," he laughed. "All I know is we’ve been really busy for two continuous years.”

But for local contracting companies, the job of repairing hail-damaged roofs still has a couple of months to go.

“Nope, we’re not done yet," noted Angela DeGagne of D &A Construction yesterday. "We’ll be finished most likely by October.”

DeGagne said they’ll have completed close to 300 roofing jobs by the time all hail damage from last year’s storm have been repaired.

Meanwhile, Cousineau suggested that in the big scheme of things, hail storms are quite common—and can result in some positives.

“In all fairness to hail storms, they are always happening somewhere but we just don’t hear about it," he noted. ”The fact that we has two of them in a row gave us a little more exposure, that’s all.

“My father was in the business [here] and he can’t remember a major hail storm in his life and he’s 76 years old,” he noted.

“It’s been interesting and not all misery. The positive thing is that the [hail claims] put us in contact with our customers,” Cousineau added.

“We met some we hardly ever saw and that was good for relationships.”

Tony Beyak, owner of the Causeway Pontiac-Buick-GMC Ltd. here, agreed, suggesting that while hail damage cost big bucks to repair, the event had its good side, too.

“An urgency or an event such as this pushes the market ahead a bit and there is more concentrated buying in a short period,” he remarked.

“The most [positive] thing is that it gets money moving around the district.”

It’s also meant more jobs for local contractors over the past two years.

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