Texas Hailstorms Set Record Losses in 2016
In 2016, Texas suffered through another costly year of weather related losses for homeowners and autos. Looking only at loss information through the end of September, it has been a year of record losses for hailstorms. The months of March and April in 2016 recorded some of the most damaging hailstorms the state has ever seen. Hailstorms in those two months caused more than $4 billion in damage to thousands of homes primarily in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and San Antonio.
“Only Hurricane Ike in 2008, the costliest storm in Texas history, inflicted more damage to homes than this year’s hailstorms,” said Mark Hanna, a spokesperson for the Insurance Council of Texas.
The costliest hailstorms struck Fort Worth, Arlington, Plano, Wylie and San Antonio. The April 12 hailstorm in San Antonio and Bexar County resulted in $1.4 billion in damage, making it the costliest hailstorm in Texas history, exceeding the May 5, 1995, $1.1 billion hailstorm in Fort Worth.
The storms also produced record losses for cars and trucks. Hail as well as flood damage to automobiles this year is expected to reach a record $2 billion in insured losses. A massive hailstorm struck El Paso on Nov. 4, damaging an estimated 40,000 automobiles. Flooding earlier this year in Houston and Harris County also damaged thousands of vehicles.
The property and casualty insurance industry has worked diligently to respond to these storms, especially during the multiple hailstorms that hit areas in March and April. Some insurers set up mobile claims centers to help consumers get their damaged cars assessed, and others had response teams on the ground the day after the multiple hailstorms to help consumers get claims processed and damage estimates begun.
“Doing business in Texas, and knowing our history of severe and dangerous weather in the state, the insurance industry stays prepared to respond and do our best to serve our customers after these storms,” said Hanna.