By: David Yates
AUSTIN - 2016 wind and hail loss information released last week by the Texas Department of Insurance show that homeowner losses from hail in Texas were the highest annual losses ever recorded, exceeding $5 billion.
Combined wind damage and hail losses to residential property also set a record at nearly $6 billion.
“Last year’s hailstorms were relentless,” said Mark Hanna, a spokesperson for the Insurance Council of Texas. “We had 45 days of hailstorms occurring somewhere in Texas during the months of April and May. We also experienced the state’s costliest hailstorm ever in San Antonio.
“It was a rough year to say the least.”
The costliest hailstorm last year was the April 12, 2016 storm in San Antonio and Bexar County that resulted in $1.4 billion in insured losses, according to ICT.
The storm surpassed the Fort Worth hailstorm of May 5, 1995, which had recorded $1.1 billion in losses.
Other significant hailstorms in 2016 struck Fort Worth/Arlington, Plano, Wylie and El Paso.
2015 had been the worst year on record for hail losses at $1.9 billion. But 2016 hail losses with more than 500,000 claims, were twice as high as any previous year.
In addition, 2016 wind and hail damage to vehicles was by far the costliest year on record with $1.5 billion in losses.
According to a press release, ICT’s member companies were on the scene immediately after many of these devastating storm events to help Texans recover and have their claims assessed promptly. In some cases, mobile claims centers were set up to help resolve thousands of auto hail claims.
“Fortunately, so far this year, we have had our tornadoes and hailstorms, but the damage hasn’t been anything like we have seen the past two years,” said Hanna.