Insurance claims pour in as built up ice takes a toll on homes, businesses

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SHERMAN, TX -- As soon as freezing rain and ice started pouring down on Texoma last week, so did claims to insurance companies.

And with the ice hanging around for days after the storm, agents don't expect claims to stop anytime soon.

Insurance agent Nat McClure said most of the claims they've gotten have been minor damage, mostly ice related collapses

"Most of it has been collapse. Just a structure that wasn't built to support the type of ice," he said. "Carports or garages, sometimes storage buildings. We've also seen quite a few vehicle claims."

Vehicle claims started rolling in Thursday, as the roads started to ice over, McClure said.

"People who live in north Texas aren't used to driving on ice. So they forgot that when they hit the break they lose total control," he said.

They've brought in extra claims representatives to handle the number of cases, which hit 1,000 across the state Wednesday morning.

"So general we're out in a day or two looking at houses, and in the meantime we're helping people work through those claims," he said.

Agent Terry Everett said most ice-related damage would be considered an "act of nature."

"For the most part you know, if you have a homeowners policy, you should be covered under that."

But agents remind insurance holders to check their policies because some don't cover roof gutters or other structures on your property, like sheds.

And Everett said some insurance holders are now realizing they've opted out of coverage areas they now wish they had.

"They want a rental car now, because their car's been damaged, and realize they don't have rental insurance," he said.

Though McClure said claims have started to slow, he says he expects them to pick up again soon.

"A lot of times you don't know if you have frozen pipe damage until they thaw. And we haven't had any major frozen pipe claims yet, but I'm assuming we'll have a few in the next couple of days."

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