Central Texans wake up to severe weather – Now what?

 

MEDIA ADVISORY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 25, 2021

CONTACT: Camille Garcia, Director of Communications and Public Affairs 512-713-4262

 

As another severe weather front passed through Central Texas, residents woke up to thunderstorms, lightening, rain and hail. Austin, the Hill Country, and surrounding counties, now face damage to their homes, businesses, and vehicles and insurance companies are staffed, many on a 24/7 basis, to respond to their customers.

 

Texas statistics

Traditionally, March is the beginning of the Spring severe weather season in Texas. Texas ranks at or near the top nationally in hail events, number of wildfires, number of tornadoes, flood and storm surge risk and more. In 2020 Texas ranked #1 in major hail events, defined as one inch hail, with 601 events followed by South Dakota with 377, and in 2019 we led the nation in tornadoes with 188. For 2019, Texas was #1 in catastrophe losses with 583,050 claims at a cost of over $7.2 billion.

 

Next steps

If you have damages, here are some steps to take:

  • When safe to do so, walk around your home and take pictures documenting your loss.
  • Take steps to mitigate your damages. Place tarps on broken windows or exposed roofs and save your receipts for any supplies or labor that you paid for to protect your property.
  • Call your agent and file your claim. Prepare any questions you may have:
    • What is covered and what is my deductible?
    • When can I start making repairs?
    • Do I have additional living expense coverage if my home is not habitable?
  • Keep a log of all your conversations with your insurance company, contractors to track next steps.
  • Check your auto policy for hail coverage.  While liability coverage is required, about 75% of vehicle owners also purchase optional comprehensive insurance which covers for such losses as hail, flood and theft.

 

What can you expect?

  1. Customers may have the option of contactless, virtual claim handling offered to protect the safety of customers and claims personnel.
  2. With the massive February winter storm that blanketed Texas and the severe Spring weather that is an annual tradition in Texas, patience, perseverance and ongoing communication are key.
  3. Fraud! Protect yourself from fraud. Unscrupulous repair folks may promise to “put-you-ahead-of-the-line” or offer low cost repairs. Review the itemized contract first and only pay the contractor in increments as they complete the work. If a contractor offers to waive your deductible – that’s illegal and such activity can be reported to the Office of the Texas Attorney General.

 

ICT offers resources on severe weather including the two graphics below.

 

 

For more information, contact Camille Garcia, Director of Communications and Public Affairs at Insurance Council of Texas, 512-713-4262 or cgarcia@insurancecouncil.org.

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