Insurance study finds Texas tops country in claims for hail damage
State Farm recently released a report on the number of insurance claims received for wind and hail damage throughout the country for 2012. Although one might predict states like South Dakota or Colorado would top the list, these states did not even make the top five. In fact, South Dakota was not on the list and Colorado received a ranking of tenth in the nation with 16,000 claims. Instead, Texas topped the list with over 47,000 wind and hail insurance claims.
Even the nationwide insurance provider noted that hail storms more frequently impact states found in the Midwest and Great Plains. In whole, the claims cost almost four billion dollars.
Will the ranking impact insurance rates?
According to a recent article in the Insurance Journal (TWIA), the short answer is yes. The article stated that the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association recently voted to increase rates by five percent for areas along the Texas coast. It is important to note that move is not a new one. TWIA has made similar motions previous years in attempts to bring the overall insurance rate up to a more comfortable profit margin for insurers.
Concerns that insurers are pushing for insurance increases was supported by a recent investigation by a local Fox affiliate. The report found that insurance rates across the state were on the rise. Major insurers like State Farm increased rates by 20 percent in 2013 and Farmers Insurance increased rates by 15 percent. The rates continued to rise through 2014 as well.
What about insurance claims?
Unfortunately, higher rates do not translate to better claims coverage. Homeowners who experience damage to insured property during a storm can better increase odds of a successful claim with these tips:
- Record everything. Keep a list of all damages done to the property. If possible, take photos or even videos of the damage. Also, keep damaged items in case an insurance adjuster needs to view them.
- Repair as needed. Make repairs that are necessary for the safety of those within the structure and the integrity of the home. If, for example, windows were broken, cover them. This will reduce the risk of further damage from wind and rain to the interior of the home.
- Timeliness. There is currently a one year limit to the amount of time available to file a wind and hail damage claim. Legislatures are considering an extension, but it has yet to pass.
The Texas Department of Insurance notes that the upcoming “warm and humid spring and summer months” in the state make for prime conditions for serious thunderstorms. As a result, residents may be filing claims for coverage under their insurance policies in the near future. If you are a homeowner who needs to file a claim, challenge a denial or an underpaid claim, contact an experienced Texas storm damage attorney. This legal professional will review your case and better ensure all needed documentation is available to increase your chances of success.