Thousands Of Insurance Claims Already Reported For Wednesday Night's Storms In North Texas

The Insurance Council of Texas says its member agencies have already received 7,500 car and home claims combined from this Wednesday night’s storms.

Video Transcript

DOUG DUNBAR: And here's something. A little memory for you. The storm actually. We look back and hits exactly one year to the day after a hailstorm hit several Tarrant County cities in 2020. Didn't even remember, but now I do.

The Insurance Council of Texas says its member agencies have already received 7,500 car and home claims combined from what unfolded last night. Our Caroline Vandergriff is live for us in Keller with what you need to know to get through the process. I talked to two or three people today. First time they've ever been through this. And it can be confusing.

CAROLINE VANDERGRIFF: That's actually surprising, Doug, because Texas is actually the number one state in the entire nation for hail damage claims. So you'd think more people would be used to it at this point. But it can be tricky to navigate. Insurance companies say the best thing you can do is document everything.

PAUL PERRY: It sounds like cannon fire. [LAUGHS] It sounded-- it was very, very loud.

CAROLINE VANDERGRIFF: Hail as big as three inches rained down on this Keller neighborhood last night, busting through car windows and damaging homes.

PAUL PERRY: We've got holes in aluminum siding, vinyl siding. The roof is probably shot. The gutters are probably shot. Some window screens, patio furniture.

CAROLINE VANDERGRIFF: Paul Perry is no stranger to dealing with severe weather claims thanks to February's historic winter storms.

PAUL PERRY: And our whole first floor got flooded. So we're still doing repairs on that. And then this hit last night. And let's just say I'm on first name basis with the insurance company at this point.

CAROLINE VANDERGRIFF: The Insurance Council of Texas recommends people first take photos and videos of all the damage.

CAMILLE GARCIA: Contact your insurer. Make sure that you document those conversations not only with your agent but your adjuster, your contractor, your service repair facility so that way you'll know next steps.

CAROLINE VANDERGRIFF: Always do your research before hiring someone to fix your roof or the damage to your car. Get a contract that itemizes all the repairs. And pay in increments as the work gets done.

CAMILLE GARCIA: We will see contractors from out of town, out of state descend here. And just as quickly as you arrive, unfortunately, some vanish just as quickly.

CAROLINE VANDERGRIFF: Multiple contractors had already knocked on these doors before 7:00 this morning.

PAUL PERRY: So you have to be careful. You just can't, you know, take the first guy that comes along.

CAROLINE VANDERGRIFF: One silver lining of the pandemic is that many insurance companies are actually handling claims virtually, which can speed up the process. Live in Keller, I'm Caroline Vandergriff, CBS 11 News.

DOUG DUNBAR: Caroline, thank you. Some great advice.