Texas hail losses hit $5.5 billion

San Antonio damage at $2 billion

SAN ANTONIO – Financial damage done by hail storms in Texas so far this year is as big as the hail stones themselves.

Insured losses to homes and vehicles are tallied at $5.5 billion, according to the Insurance Council of Texas. And that's just for the first half of the year.

"A lot of people say, 'Gosh, tornadoes do all the damage.' Hailstorms do all the damage in the state of Texas," said Mark Hanna, with the Insurance Council of Texas.

The losses for the state are the most since Hurricane Ike caused havoc in 2008.

San Antonio's trifecta of April storms accounted for a big chunk of the losses. That damage is assessed at more than $2 billion, with the initial April 12 storm now considered the costliest hailstorm in Texas history.

Bruno Vera remembers the ruckus that he heard that night well.

"I came outside and stood right there on the porch. Man, that thing was coming sideways," he said.

His house was among the masses that took a beating from softball-sized hail. His insurance company replaced his roof.

As roofers continue to hammer the shingles and insurers pay out claims, homeowners wonder how much their premiums will be dinged.

"Somebody's going to have to pay for that," Vera said.

Consumers can expect some companies will raise their rates, while others may actually lower them, according to Hanna. 

"If you are hit with any type of rate increase, do some shopping around," Hanna said. "That's what competition is all about."

The website www.helpinsure.com offers assistance in comparing policies and rates in Texas.

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