EL PASO, Texas - The hail storm that hit El Paso on November 4th not only stalled traffic on I-10 and paralyzed the rest of the city, but it also put a dent in a lot of local insurance companies. The original estimate to property damage to both auto and homes has now been tripled since the initial 100 million dollar estimate.
"The total loss to autos alone in El Paso is estimated to be at around 40,000 claims totaling around $200 million," Mark Hannah with the Insurance Council of Texas said.
Cars were not the only loss of property that happened in El Paso though there is not a clear number on the number of individual homes and roofs that have been damaged, the numeric value is staggering. Roofing damage due to hail has now cost insurance companies roughly $100 million, putting the total loss at around $300 million for the entire area.
Local Statefarm agent Crystal Martinez claims that nationally Statefarm received 8,470 claims, while USAA had roughly 3,000 claims both for home and auto for the November 4th hail storm alone. with 40,000 total claims, companies had to rely on their national accreditation and elicit help from out of town insurance adjusters.
"This is where we bring our people from out of town we have a team specifically for these weather related disasters, for these catastrophes," Crystal Martinez said. "We were very prepared we set up two locations for our customers to drive up and pick up their checks for their claims."
While a storm like this may not be breaking news worthy for a place like Dallas or Oklahoma, it was for El Paso and it continues to be. This alone is what has invited the possibility for scammers who promise to fix damaged cars quicker than insurance companies can get to their claims.
"Do your homework, make sure that you call the Better Business Bureau make sure to verify a local address because a lot of people come from out of town and they want to fix your car right away and your house too, it could be a roofer, just do your homework," Martinez said.
While an insurance company can complete a filed claim, not every policy holder is always happy with the job, or the way it was done. Mark Hanna recommends anyone that is not satisfied with their claim to contact the Texas Department of Insurance at 1-800-252-3439.