ICT: Texas Led Nation in Q1 Catastrophes

May 4, 2005

The Insurance Council of Texas reported that a series of thunderstorms that pummeled portions of the Hill Country and central Texas in late March resulted in Texas leading the nation in insured losses during the first quarter of the year. Austin and Travis County caught the brunt of the storms.

According to the Insurance Services Office Property Claims Services unit in Jersey City, N.J., Texas led all other states with $565 million in weather losses from January 1 through the end of March. California’s wet weather season placed it at a distant second in catastrophic losses at $275 million.

On March 25, 2005, a cold front triggered several thunderstorms that packed high winds and large hail striking portions of central and south central Texas. ICT estimates that insured losses in the Austin area will amount to approximately $140 million once all claims have been settled.

“This particular storm system came in waves and damaged just as many homes as it did personal automobiles,” said Mark Hanna, an ICT spokesman. “Commercial property losses were also extensive because of the damage caused to north Austin’s new and used car dealerships.”

Hanna said the storm resulted in approximately 40,000 claims. Since the late March storm, Texas insurance companies have been hit with additional claims as a result of more than a half dozen destructive thunderstorms.

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