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Hail damage prompts MPI to open special claims centre

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Manitoba Public Insurance is establishing a special hail claim centre beginning Thursday.

MPI said in a news release this morning that it has received more than 1,500 claims as a result of storms on the weekend.

The Winnipeg hail claim centre – located at MPI’s Bison Service Centre, 15 Barnes Street – will be dedicated to "hail only" estimating appointments. Appointments for the centre can only be booked through the MPI contact centre. The special Winnipeg centre will be capable of taking 300 appointments daily, open Monday to Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. The centre will also open 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays.

The Selkirk Service Centre will handle all hail claims which were opened by vehicle owners in that area ─ more than 300. Hours of operation: Monday to Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m and Friday 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Affected vehicle owners are reminded they must have booked an appointment prior to arriving at the special hail centre. To report claims, Winnipeg area customers can call 985-7000. The line is open Monday to Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

"In order to respond to the extraordinary number of new claims, it was decided to establish this special centre," said Christine Martin, Vice-President, Service Operations, Manitoba Public Insurance. "We realize many people are concerned about their vehicles. Providing the best service possible to our customers has always been the number one priority of our Corporation."

This is not the first time in Manitoba Public Insurance history that a special hail claim centre has been established. On July 16, 1996, Manitoba Public Insurance was hit with the single largest catastrophic event in the corporation’s history. A hailstorm struck Winnipeg and outlying areas, resulting in 24,494 hail-related claims. The total cost of hail damage was $53 million.

A special hail centre was opened in August 2007 after a catastrophic storm ripped through Dauphin and 12 surrounding communities. In total, nearly 15,000 hail claims were opened. Total losses incurred were more than $50 million.

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