Every year, major weather events across the country lead to large amounts of home and auto insurance claims that policy providers have to deal with. These can range from tornadoes and hurricanes to heavy snow and bitter cold, but Texas was recently hit with a spate of hail storms that did major damage to a large number of vehicles in particular. As such, those insurers will likely have to deal with a large and growing number of such claims for some time to come, and agents working there will have to be on the lookout for ways in which they can keep their clients happy in the meantime.
Since the start of April, many hail storms have hit areas in almost every part of Texas, with a particularly high concentration of activity alone the state’s northern and eastern borders, according to a report from the Insurance Journal. As a consequence, some 60,000 auto insurance claims – or more – could be filed across the state by consumers hoping for some financial help to deal with the damage. Right now, it’s hard to pin down a number because of just how widespread the activity was.
“Hail and windstorm claims are still coming in from almost every corner of the state,” Mark Hanna, a spokesman for the Insurance Council of Texas, told the site.
Is there any good news?
Fortunately for insurers, those claims could have actually come in at an even greater volume, the report said. However, it seems that very few areas in the state’s largest cities – San Antonio, Houston, Dallas/Fort Worth, and Austin – were impacted by these hail storms. If they had been, it’s likely that the number of claims would have increased significantly. However, the likelihood is that such claims could increase as tornado season gets under way in earnest, and as a consequence there’s a growing chance that at least one of those major urban areas will be hit.
Altogether, though, the claims that have been or will be filed as a result of storms which already took place could climb to as much as $65 million, and that number doesn’t include insurance coverage for homes or businesses, the report said. The latter type of claim would also be on the rise if major hail storms – some of which have already produced stones the size of softballs – hit those big cities.
The role of agents in dealing with the fallout
The more insurance agents can do to ensure that their clients fully understand their policies, and are therefore happy with them, the better off both parties are likely to be going forward. In fact, a number of studies have shown that people who have good working relationships with their insurers and agents tend to be much more satisfied with their coverage than people who do not. That comes even as their willingness to pay a little more for the coverage they more fully understand increases. Therefore, education efforts on the part of agents can be paramount, especially when a client has to file a claim.