Wylie hail damage creates backlog of insurance claims

Damaging hail from Monday’s storms left a path of destruction across North Texas. It’s a scene all too familiar for many home and vehicle owners who are still dealing with the aftermath from other recent storms.

Hail-ravaged vehicles spilled over outside Enterprise Tuesday morning while their owners lined up in desperate need to get driveable wheels.

"There’s dents the size of soccer balls on my car," said Rick Blodgett, who was trying to get a rental car. “What they are saying is everything around the area is probably sold out. So not going to have any luck, and I'm a single parent.”

Golf ball to baseball-sized hail battered several homes and vehicles – some even a total loss.

Insurance companies like State Farm are bringing in extra adjusters for house calls. More drive-through and appointment-only locations are springing up too. With so many people in the same boat, adjusters say don't wait to report damage.

But even with estimate in hand, storm victims are finding the process has only just begun when it comes to vehicles. Body shops are still overwhelmed from the last storm and ask for the one thing probably in least supply -- patience.

“You're looking at 3-4 weeks backlog just to get in the shop,” said Shawn Dyer with Service King Collision Repair. “And then those repairs are being delayed probably by another couple of weeks.”

Another problem several residents are facing is having to pay two separate deductibles for insurance claims.

"The damage, from a common sense standpoint to me, supersedes the other one because I have window damage now and floor damage on top of roof damage,” said homeowner Donovan Williams. “But they said no, it has to be a separate claim.”

The hail storm that pounded Plano on March 23 also damaged William's roof in Wylie. He filed a claim, but repairs weren't started yet. When Monday’s storm did even more damage to his house, Williams says his insurance company told him he'll have to pay a second deductible.

At an estimated $2,000 each, Williams would be out $4,000 in less than three weeks’ time. Homeowners across the area tell FOX 4 they're in the same boat.

Alex Winslow with ‘Texas Watch,’ an Austin-based insurance watchdog group, says you should read your policy, but most will spell out a requirement of two claims and two deductibles.

“Insurance and claims are typically pegged to the particular weather event,” explained Winslow. “So even if you tried to cancel the first claim, the damage caused by that less severe storm wouldn't be covered by the second claim.”

State Farm agent Jared Howerton says they will investigate whether the damage is different between storms.

“If we had a claim a couple of weeks ago, that is one claim and one deductible,” said Howerton. “This storm yesterday is another claim and another deductible. There may be some overlapping damages, but we will have to assess that on a case-by-case basis.”

Farmers Insurance also says if they hadn't inspected a property yet and can't discern two weather events caused the damage, only one event would be assumed and one deductible would apply.

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