Some Amarillo insurance agencies experience one of largest number claims resulting from weather storm

Will this increase your insurance rates?

VIDEO: Increase of Amarillo insurance claims after winter storm

AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Some Amarillo insurance agencies say they are dealing with one of the largest numbers of property damage claims they’ve seen following last month’s storm.

Many Amarillo plumbers saw pipes freezing at record rates and were dealing with many thawing pipe issues from the weather.

Now Amarillo insurance agencies are seeing many people make home insurance claims as many homeowners are experiencing property damage from the water leaks and busted pipes.

In just two weeks, State Farm has seen over 40,000 home insurance claims statewide due to the weather this year.

Last year, they only saw a total of 75 related home insurance claims due to the weather.

“The majority of the claims being reported to us are from homeowners to property damage. And again, most to frozen or because of frozen and burst water pipes. Of course, there are some renters too filing property damage to their contents of their rental. And again, just some auto claims being reported as well,” said Chris Pilcic, spokesman for State Farm.

NCW, A Heritage Risk Management Company (insurance agency) in Amarillo says they do not believe the catastrophe claims will affect everyone’s insurance rates, but suggests getting it reported to your carrier as soon as possible in case the damage arises later on.

“Even if you do not feel that it may go over your deductible, go ahead and get it reported to the carrier so that in case damage arises after, that we can address that and well already have that reported to the carrier for review. But so not to be afraid to report a claim because they’re saying catastrophe claims don’t normally affect your rating,” said Melinda Hendricks, claims advocate at NCW Risk Management in Amarillo.

Hendricks says it’s important to watch out for the settling issues that can come up later when the ground dries out.

“They’re going to want to see the resulting damage of what has happened to your home once the water has dried out. So that’s where they really come into play. So, you know, it’s not so much that an adjuster needs to be there to look at the water standing, its after its dried out you need to see the buckling floors, the damage sheet rock, the base boards, those kinds of things and see just how bad the effect was,” said Hendricks.

“Any time you experience any kind of loss at your home or damage to your vehicle, can be emotionally challenging. So, make sure you’re asking for recommendations for a contractor, talk to your friends and neighbors, get multiple estimates that are detailed and in writing and make decisions that are informed when you are hiring someone to work on your home,” said Pilcic.

Insurance agencies have not seen a huge up-tick in auto claims from the storm as many seemed to stay home with the dangerous conditions.

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