Wind and hail loss information for 2016 released recently by the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) show that homeowner losses from hail in Texas were the highest annual losses ever recorded, as they exceeded $5 billion, the Insurance Council of Texas reports.
Combined wind damage and hail losses to residential property also set a record at nearly $6 billion.
“Last year’s hailstorms were relentless,” said Mark Hanna, a spokesperson for the Insurance Council of Texas. “We had 45 days of hailstorms occurring somewhere in Texas during the months of April and May. We also experienced the state’s costliest hailstorm ever in San Antonio. It was a rough year to say the least.”
The costliest hailstorm last year was the April 12, 2016, storm in San Antonio and Bexar County that resulted in $1.4 billion in insured losses. The storm surpassed the Fort Worth hailstorm of May 5, 1995, which had recorded $1.1 billion in losses. Other significant hailstorms in 2016 struck Fort Worth/Arlington, Plano, Wylie and El Paso.
Previously, 2015 had been the worst year on record for hail losses in Texas — at $1.9 billion. But 2016 hail losses with more than 500,000 claims, were twice as high as any previous year. In addition, 2016 wind and hail damage to vehicles was by far the costliest year on record with $1.5 billion in losses.
“Fortunately, so far this year, we have had our tornadoes and hailstorms, but the damage hasn’t been anything like we have seen the past two years,” said Hanna.
Nationally, from 2014 through 2016, Texas topped the list of states for the highest number of insurance claims for hail damage, according to The National Insurance Crime Bureau’s 2017 ForeCast Report on 2014-2016 United States Hail Loss Claims.
An analysis of insurance claims from the Insurance Services Office (ISO) ClaimSearch database showed that after decreasing by 21 percent from 2014 to 2015, the number of hail claims nationwide jumped 48 percent to more than 965,000 in 2016, the NICB found.
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