Wind gusts of up to 72 miles per hour and hail as large as grapefruit struck the Midland/Odessa, Texas-area on June 14, damaging roofs and shattering automobile windshields, the Insurance Council of Texas reported.
Insurance company catastrophe teams report a high volume of claims. Local insurance agencies are also trying to keep up with the number of reported claims.
“It’s been nuts,” said Andrea Hidalgo with the Tara Simmons Insurance Agency in Odessa. “We’ve been hit with large hail the last two days and last night was especially hard and we are supposed to get hit again tonight.”
Alex Lister, senior forecaster with the National Weather Service in Midland, said grapefruit size hail was reported one mile south of Midland while baseball size hail was reported in Odessa. “We’ve had hail as large as 4 and a quarter inches and wind gusts near 70 miles per hour reported in both Midland and Odessa and in adjoining counties,” said Lister.
Auto body shops in the area are expected to begin filling up quickly with damaged cars. Amanda Bell with the Davis Body Shop in Odessa said everybody is swamped from the storm, especially the glass companies.
Companies have declared the storm a catastrophe and are sending in additional adjusters to handle the claims.
The Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) sent a team of fraud investigators to the area to deter any criminal element drawn to the storm-damaged areas.
Texas traditionally leads the nation in claims from hailstorms. The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) recently reported that insurance claims for hail damage in Texas last year exceeded the previous two years combined.
Source: Insurance Council of Texas (ICT)