Damage from Central Texas Storm Nearing $100 Million

March 30, 2005

Two Texas-based insurance industry trade associations released preliminary estimations of the cost of damages from the strong hailstorm that hit Central Texas on Friday, March 24. According to the Southwestern Insurance Information Service and the Insurance Council of Texas costs for insured damages from the storm could range from $75 million to more than $100 million.

SIIS estimated $75 million in insured losses from the hailstorm, based on reports from the association’s member companies. The storm hit west and northwest Austin, along with parts of central Austin. Public Affairs Director Sandra Ray said many of SIIS’ member companies have dispatched additional claims adjusters from out of the area to address claims volume.

ICT said it expected insured losses to top $100 million. The association reported that claims were continuing to pour into agents and companies several days after the storm as residents returned from outings over the Easter weekend.

Near Lake Travis, west of Austin, some residents claim the hailstorm lasted for a few minutes to up to an hour, ICT reported.

Lisa Manchac with Frank Siddons Insurance Agency said her home is Briarcliff near Lake Travis had golf ball to softball size hail hit her neighborhood for about seven minutes. “All of my windows on the side of my house were broken and as well as the hatchback on my car,” said Manchac. “Windows on my neighbor’s car were caved in. Everyone in our neighborhood was hit hard.”

Bob Bowman of Bowman Insurance Agency said most of his calls have come from homeowners in north Austin who were hit with marble to golf ball size hail.

New car dealerships were also pelted. Jeff Sawisch, new car sales manager with Henna Chevrolet, said numerous new cars on the dealership’s lot had received everything from broken mirrors, dented grills, broken windshields to multiple dents.

Agents reportedly expect to receive more claims next weekend when homeowners have more time to assess the damage to their homes and see claims adjusters crawling around on their neighbor’s roofs.

Exactly 12 years ago, a hailstorm struck Austin producing approximately the same amount of insured losses, ICT said.

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