Damage estimates from March storms continue to increase around West Texas

Damage estimates from March storms continue to increase around West Texas

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Damage estimates continue to come in as residents of the South Plains recover from a series of unique storms that passed through the area during March.

Most of the South Plains was hit by a series of severe thunderstorms, which were followed by strong winds that stayed in the 50-60 mph range throughout most of the day on March 13. A current estimate from State Farm shows more than 3,200 claims were filed by homeowners between Amarillo and the Midland/Odessa area after that event.

Most of Texas was also hit with storms that brought damaging hail early in the week, most of which was concentrated in the Amarillo and Dallas-Fort Worth area. Claims adjusters and insurance people alike have lumped all storms together and estimate the cost to the entire state is around $60 million, Mark Hanna, spokesperson for the Insurance Council of Texas, said.

At the most, damage in and around Lubbock has the possibility of reaching about $2 million, but that is thought to be a more liberal dollar amount.

“So if you’re specifically trying to just zero in on the damage in Lubbock, we would probably be talking less than a million dollars in insured losses,” Hanna said. “Or somewhere in that vicinity.”

The DFW area, though, took in about ¾ of the estimated $60 million in damages. It is also thought areas around Amarillo could see a nearly $10 million price tag, though that’s still just an early figure.

That estimate was pulled together from the insurance council’s data, which gathered numbers from insurance companies around the state.

Those who work with insurance companies anticipate the number of claims from March could steadily increase, though. State Farm alone has received more than 7,400 claims from the storm systems, Chris Pilcic, a spokesperson for the company, said.

“From the wind storm we had, in the early days, 800 (claims), I think on a Thursday and Friday,” Pilcic said. “And then over a weekend, they more than doubled. I think we were close to 3,000 (claims) the following week.”

Most of the claims were for home and auto repair, and reported in populated areas. Even though some rural areas did take in a lot of severe weather, the small populations meant there was less of a possibility of damage.

Though there is little shielding from severe weather, insurance coverage is predictable and can be changed to fit needs of customers. Those who work in the insurance field always encourage people to review insurance coverage and ask insurance agents questions about specific policies.

It is also a good idea to take a home inventory, Pilcic said, so after a severe weather event needs can be assessed properly.

And as the warmth of spring continues to set in, the possibilities of severe weather increases. Wildfires, tornadoes, hail storms and severe thunderstorms should become more common during the rest of March, probably through June.

“Every insurer has a slightly different policy, so it’s really important to know the nuances of yours,” Pilcic said.

Copyright 2019 KCBD. All rights reserved.