Insurance Claims Pour in from Last Week’s Texas Hail Storms

Insurers are dealing with damage claims stemming from last week’s huge hail storms in Texas that could be one of the most costly weather events in the state’s history, according to officials.

The storms developed in the northernmost portions of the state during the late afternoon of June 13, according to the National Weather Service (NWS). Hail from the first storm began in Plano, Texas, before hitting east Dallas.

Thousands of cars and homes were damaged throughout the night, with baseball-sized hail hitting Irving at around 7 p.m. and softball-sized hail hitting southern Fannin County at around 8 p.m., NWS officials said.

The Insurance Council of Texas (ICT) said that the storm systems “stretched for approximately 30 miles moving from north to south.”

Hail Storms Expected to Be Among State’s Costliest

Initial estimates that put total damage at more than $900 million makes the weather event the fourth-costliest set of hail storms in state history, according to the NWS.

Dallas has dealt with other severe weather in the past six weeks. On April 3, the area was struck with at least a dozen tornadoes and hail that racked up more than $400 million in damages, according to the ICT.

Insurers Flock to State to Address High Volume of Claims

Typically, comprehensive coverage, which is optional, reimburses policyholders for weather-related damage to their vehicles. Policyholders who get auto insurance in Texas with such kinds of coverage likely have claims-related questions following the recent storms, and plenty of resources will be at their disposal. Insurers called the storm a catastrophe that warranted extra efforts to deal with a high volume of weather-related claims, according to ICT spokesman Mark Hanna.

On Friday, Allstate publicized a “mega drive-in center” and its mobile claims center to help motorists with claims related to the hail storms. Policyholders can get claims help at the Dallas claims center by appointment only.

Even if an insurer doesn’t opt to send adjusters to the scene of a disaster, they’ve most likely posted public bulletins to make their policyholders aware of their options in filing claims.

Progressive issued such a bulletin on June 14, saying its claims service center is open all day, all night and everyday of the week to deal with claims that the insurer said hit 14 counties throughout the state.

The storm systems that brought hail to the state continued to generate inclement weather through mid-June, with windstorms damaging property in Montgomery, Harris, Bell, Bowie and Ector counties in the southern part of the state, according to Allstate.

Hail Claim Numbers in 2011 Were Highest in Three Years

There were more than 244,800 car insurance claims filed nationwide related to hail damage in 2011 that amounted to $797.2 million in payments, according to a report from the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) released last month.

The 2011 figures make the year the most expensive with the highest number of hail-related insurance claims in the past three years.

Texas had the 19th-highest frequency of hail claims last year, 23rd-highest in 2010, 5th-highest in 2009 and 8th-highest in 2008.

In 2009, March 25 generated the most claims of the year as severe weather hit the the Lone Star State’s Williamson and Travis counties, racking up more than $80 million in payments and 20,000 insurance claims.

About Matthew Morisset
Matthew Morisset is a proud alumnus of the University of Redlands, where he obtained a degree in English Literature. Utilizing his passion for analysis and writing, Matthew looks for important trends in the auto insurance industry and their implications for consumers and the market as a whole.

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