Residential Insured Losses Reach $30M in North Texas Ice Storm

Damage from this month’s North Texas ice storm has reached at least $30 million in residential insured losses, according to an industry group.

Officials with the Insurance Council of Texas said the losses include homes damaged by downed trees, broken pipes and other residential damage in the greater Dallas metro area. The preliminary estimate released Thursday does not include damage to vehicles, roads or government property.

Council spokesman Mark Hanna said the losses are expected to mount.

“It’s going to go higher, but we don’t expect it to go an awful lot higher than that,” he told The Dallas Morning News.

The wintry weather that hit North Texas beginning Dec. 5 stranded motorists and closed schools, government offices and businesses. Some closures and power outages lingered into this week as thick ice that glazed roads slowly melted.

The $30 million figure doesn’t include damage to cars, trucks and other vehicles.

“That’s a whole different line and something that’s a little harder to put our arms around,” Hanna told the Morning News. “We’re talking about 200 different auto insurance companies in the state of Texas. We have to go to several of them to get a feel.

“But the damage isn’t going to be as high as residential,” he said.

The costs to government aren’t quite so substantial.

Dallas County spent $300,000 to $400,000 to battle slick roads, according to conservative estimates from County Judge Clay Jenkins.

He said that while sanding and salting roads constituted some of the county’s greatest efforts, the biggest cost came from closing offices, including the court system.

That resulted in lost productivity of about $1.5 million, he said.

In Tarrant County, meanwhile, weather-related costs came to $500,000, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Officials in Collin and Denton counties said they’re still calculating their storm-related expenses and don’t yet have firm figures.