Manitoba Public Insurance opens centre in Winnipeg for hail claims

The province’s public auto insurer is hoping to speed up the time it takes to deal with hail-related damage claims by opening up a centre dedicated to handling them, after the Winnipeg area was hammered by hail last week.

Manitoba Public Insurance plans to open a temporary hail-damage estimate centre in Winnipeg at its 1981 Plessis Rd. location, the Crown corporation said Wednesday. 

The centre will be open from Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and will offer 70 appointments each day.

MPI has had about 1,150 claims in the past week, the insurer said in a news release, after thunderstorms soaked Winnipeg last Thursday, leaving behind mounds of hail in parts of the city.

The corporation is still dealing with another 15,000 claims that were opened in 2023, most of which were submitted following a storm in Winnipeg last August that brought golf ball-sized hail to some areas, MPI said in the release.

A strike by roughly 1,700 MPI workers began shortly after the August 2023 storm. When they went back to work on Nov. 3, there were approximately 16,000 reported claims in varying stages of the claim process.

Starting Wednesday, MPI said it will contact hail-damage claimants who don’t yet have an estimate appointment scheduled to offer an appointment at the dedicated hail-damage centre.

MPI will prioritize customers who have been waiting the longest. Customers will be contacted by text message or email, the insurer said.

People who already have hail-damage estimate appointments scheduled with MPI can contact the centre via email at to reschedule for an earlier date if they wish.

Those who have opened hail claims and have appointments with MPI at locations outside Winnipeg aren’t affected.