Hail claims are making headlines following multiple springtime hailstorms in Texas, including one in the San Antonio region that is expected to be the largest hailstorm in Texas history.
While the estimated insured losses from the storms—$1.3 billion and climbing from two storms that hit the Dallas-Fort Worth region in March; as yet not estimated (but expected to be worse) insured losses from a third storm in the Dallas-Fort Worth region April 11; plus a further $1.36 billion early estimate of insured losses from the San Antonio storm April 12—may seem high, property insurers are well-prepared to handle such events.
In a new briefing, ratings agency A.M. Best says it expects limited rating actions to result as affected property/casualty insurers are expected to maintain sufficient overall risk-adjusted capitalization relative to their existing financial strength ratings.
Which insurers will be most affected?
A.M. Best explains that for property insurers, in particular in property lines of business, losses are expected to stem from broken windows and roof damage. This will have an impact on underwriting performance and overall earnings.
Companies with a heavy concentration of automobile physical damage will also have significant losses.
However, for property insurers the increased use of actual cash value (ACV) for roof repairs, increased deductibles, and improved risk management strategies will help limit the amount of the ultimate claim payment, A.M. Best explains.
The impact on most auto physical damage insurers is also expected to be mitigated given the generally large economies of scale of major writers in the market, A.M. Best adds.
So, while the Texas hailstorm damage is poised to exceed the nine-year average of $1.2 billion for the United States, most insurers are well-capitalized and able to handle these severe weather events.
Nevertheless, as A.M. Best says:
Check out this review of research and testing related to hail damage by the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety.
The Insurance Information Institute also has some handy statistics on hail here.