Appalachian Underwriters Insurance Pros in Dallas Step Up During Winter Storm

By Jeff Fyke | March 8, 2021

In mid-February, when a severe cold front came down from the North Pole and swept across the nation and record snowfall and low temperatures froze society in its tracks, insurance professionals were ready to lend a helping hand.

The temperature descended rapidly, and water pipes froze and exploded across the Southwest, causing businesses to close and residents to evacuate. By midweek, over 70 percent of the lower 48 states were covered in snow. Millions were displaced due to power outages, making it difficult to say warm.

Armando Duran and Terry Holley, with the Dallas office of Appalachian Underwriters Inc. (AUI), a specialty insurance wholesaler and managing general agency based in Oak Ridge, Tenn., felt they needed to act to help other members of their community.

Collapsed ceiling in Dallas, Texas, after Winder Storm Uri; Feb 19, 2021. Residents stayed with Terry Holley after storm.

Duran, a marketing representative with AUI, was taken back by the intensity of the storm. “I have never seen anything like this and saw a lot of people suffer because of it.” Duran said. “No water, no electricity … it was extremely cold for them.”

He was fortunate enough to keep his water and power. Throughout the week, he provided transportation to those stranded as well as donate firewood to people without power so they could stay warm.

“I felt like I needed to do something to help out those in need and I did what I could,” he said.

Duran also allowed those who were without power and water to stay with he and his wife in their home.

Winter Storm Uri may have moved on, but the aftermath of what the severe weather left behind is devastating.

Snow covers Terry Holley’s pool in Dallas after Winder Storm Uri; Feb 19, 2021.

“[The storm] highlighted how reliant we are on services like internet, electricity and gas.” said Terry Holley, regional manager with AUI.

Holley, who has lived in Dallas for the past 41 years, and his wife housed those with busted pipes and no water. They also loaned their personal generator to help give power to those without.

“We know many families whose houses dropped into the 30s and even fireplaces were not enough to stay warm. It was truly a difficult time for so many and we were so fortunate to have a warm place,” Holley said.

Editor’s note: If you or members of your insurance organization would like to share stories about their recent experiences during Winter Storm Uri, we’d love to hear from you. Please contact Stephanie Jones, sjones@insurancejournal.com.

Topics Windstorm Underwriting

About Jeff Fyke

Fyke is a communication specialist with Appalachian Underwriters Inc., based in Oak Ridge, Tenn.

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