Insurance providers have had time to compile information on 2022 claims as we approach the halfway point in 2023. The data is not encouraging for Texas, as we ranked first in the nation for severe weather insurance claims.
KXAN meteorologist Nick Bannin discussed recent statistics on local severe weather claims with Chris Lewis from Allstate Insurance Company.
Meteorologist Nick Bannin: Chris, you have some new data about just how much severe weather we had in Texas, and compare that to what we look like nationally, right?
Chris Lewis, Allstate: Yeah. So probably not a list we want to be on top of, but we are number one in the country when it comes to severe weather and has been there pretty consistently over the last few years.
Bannin: What types of severe weather did we have the most of in 2022 here in Texas?
Lewis: Yeah, so definitely the biggest problems we see are wind, and specifically hail. We had 458 separate hail events last year in the state, almost 1.5 million properties damaged from hail. So definitely, that’s the biggest problem we see.
Bannin: Now I imagine that’s just the cost of replacing roofs because those are pretty expensive.
Lewis: They are, yes. And just like everything else, keeps going up — that cost of repair. So definitely a concern.
Bannin: What about here locally in Central Texas, specifically, the Austin Metro? Where did we rank for severe weather claims within the state? What did we have to deal with last year?
Lewis: Yeah, absolutely. So kind of the three big counties here, Williamson County was in the top 10 last year for the state of Texas. We came in at number eight for Williamson County, Travis, and Hays weren’t on the list for last year. But if we look at some preliminary data for this year, it looks like Travis County is creeping up the list for sure.
Bannin: And remind people, it’s the list of…?
Lewis: What the list of counties in the state of Texas that are impacted by severe weather?
Bannin: Gosh, a list that we don’t want to be on. But at least one of our counties was. So you’ve already gone over the rankings. You also have some data about the disparity between severe weather concerns that people have versus people actually acting on it and preparing for severe weather. Can you talk about that?
Lewis: Absolutely. Yeah. So we did a joint study with Morning Consult that showed people are really concerned about it, right? They’re worried about it. Home is one of the biggest investments that you have. So the data showed that 68% of people were very concerned about these natural disaster events, yet 43% had a plan in place to deal with that disaster. So pretty startling numbers to show that disparity that you’re talking about.
Bannin: Why are so many people concerned but not acting?