Texans experienced a violent spring thunderstorm season this year including hail, wind and flood damages across the state, including the Texas coast.
In fact, despite there not being any hurricanes so far this year, the spring hail and windstorms along the coast were the equivalent of Hurricane Rita (2005) in terms of the number of claims filed.
The Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA), the state created insurer of last resort for 14 coastal counties and parts of Harris County, reports that nearly 14,000 claims were filed after the storms.
Only Hurricane Ike (2008), the costliest storm in Texas history, produced more TWIA windstorm claims than the thunderstorm damage this past April and May. The largest storms struck the Texas coast in mid to late April and again from mid to late May. More than 90 percent of the spring storm claims came from Brazoria, Jefferson, Galveston and Nueces Counties.
Despite the large number of claims, TWIA has reported very few complaints and only two lawsuits. By the end of July, 90 percent of TWIA’s spring storm claims had been settled.
Dave Williams, TWIA’s Vice President of Claims, says the better service can be tied to a hard-working and dedicated professional staff that has worked together well. “TWIA has catastrophe plan that we have continuously improved based on lessons learned from prior storms and testing,” said Williams. “We also monitor the performances of independent adjusters, ensuring claims are resolved in a fair and timely manner.”
Since the 2008 hurricanes (Ike and Dolly), the Texas coast has also experienced other hail and windstorm events. While these hail and windstorms along the coast may not get the attention that a hurricane might bring, they can be just as damaging and costly for the Texas coast.
The Insurance Council of Texas is the largest state insurance trade association in the country consisting of approximately 500 property and casualty insurers writing business in Texas.
Mark Hanna is an ICT spokesperson.