In Texas, the spring storm season, March through May, brings some of the most severe weather events to parts of the state in the form of hailstorms, tornadoes, and severe thunderstorms. Although 2018 was mild in terms of typical Texas weather but our weather is notoriously unpredictable and catastrophic spring storms can strike with little or no warning.
Beginning Monday, March 18, representatives of the Insurance Council of Texas (ICT) and State Farm Insurance, in order to help prepare Texans for potential damaging weather and associated insurance coverage and claim issues, will be in parts of north and west Texas meeting with local media and officials to inform homeowners about storm preparation and insurance. This will be the third year that ICT and State Farm have been in the area helping to prepare local residents for potentially violent weather.
We want homeowners know about actions they can take now to help make the claims process go smoothly and get their lives back to normal. One of the easiest ways to be prepared is to conduct a home inventory.
“Conducting a home inventory can save a homeowner, who may have lost everything, or simply suffered significant damage, weeks or months of trying to determine one’s personal property loss,” said Mark Hanna, a spokesperson for ICT. “In addition, documenting your home’s storm damage and making notes of every contact with insurance adjusters and building contractors can prove to be valuable in the claims process.”
ICT’s Hanna and State Farm representatives and agents will conduct a media tour of 10 Texas cities and participate in more than 20 radio, newspaper, television and Facebook Live interviews in Amarillo, Pampa, Lubbock, Midland, Odessa, Abilene, Dallas, Fort Worth, Sherman, and Denison.
State Farm spokesperson Chris Pilcic said the storm tour provides a welcomed reminder of steps homeowners can take now to prepare for any event. “Recovering from storm damage can be emotionally, physically and financially overwhelming, so this tour provides us an opportunity to educate so many Texans on preventative steps you take now to help prepare and weather the storm should your property sustain damage.”
To help prepare for storm season, ICT offers this advice for every Texas resident.
Before the Storm
- Check in with your agent/company and ask about your homeowner policy
- Are you adequately insured?
- Do you know your deductible?
- Do you know who to call in case of a claim?
- Conduct a home inventory
- Consider purchasing flood insurance
- Carry comprehensive insurance on your vehicles
After the Storm
- Inspect your property for damage
- Document the damage with photos or video
- Contact your insurance agent/company as soon as possible to report a claim
- Make temporary repairs to prevent further damage
- Avoid fraudulent contractors, roofers, and unlicensed public adjusters
Hiring a Contractor
- Ask family and friends for recommendations
- Be wary of door-to-door solicitors
- Get multiple written estimates
- Don’t pay up front. Inspect the completed work before payment.
In addition to advice on storm preparation, while in west Texas, the group will also talk about potential wildfire risks and preventative actions. In 2017, Texas was first in the nation in the number of wildfires and fourth in the number of acres burned.
“Last year, because of the lack of any significant rainfall, residents of west Texas were more concerned with wildfires than storms,” said Hanna. “Most of our advice on dealing with storms also applies to wildfires since either can result in significant destruction. Regardless, homeowners should check with their agent to make sure they are adequately insured.”
About the Insurance Council of Texas
The Insurance Council of Texas is the largest state insurance trade association in the country consisting of approximately 500 property and casualty insurers writing business in Texas. For more information click on www.insurancecouncil.org or follow us on Facebook at ICT On Facebook and Twitter @InsCouncilTx and @VoiceForTexas for up to date news/information