WICHITA FALLS - Even though the weather has been relatively calm in the past week, we are now in what's considered severe weather season.
And though there's nothing you can do to stop bad storms, there are things you can do to reduce stress and complications when severe weather does strike.
Texas leads the nation in claims for hail damage, with more than 66,000 claims in 2015; that's more than twice that of the next two highest states combined claims. Preventative action, however, could reduce that number.
"It could be hail. It could be high winds. If you have a place you can bring your vehicles in under protection do it," Mark Hanna of the Insurance Council of Texas said.
Hanna said providing cover for your vehicles, using hail resistant roofing or siding and other measures, can greatly reduce the damage from storms and also the cost of your insurance. And because your roof is usually the most costly part of repairs from hail storms, timely assessment of any damage after the storm is crucial.
"A new policy the insurance companies are coming out with this year is that you have one year from the day of loss to file your claim, if you want to get the full replacement cost value," said Rance Hogue, owner of Arrowhead Roofing. Hogue also said its important to check references and with the Better Business Bureau before you sign a contract for roof repair.
And if the worse happens, as it did 39 years ago this April 10th in Wichita Falls, known as "Terrible Tuesday," Hanna says you can make things easier on yourself if you take time to prepare.
"You should grab your camera, take photographs, take video of all your personal property."
That way, Hanna said, you'll have an accurate account of your belongings, which will help save time and possibly thousands of dollars in recovery. Both Hogue and Hanna say severe weather can be bad enough. And they recommend preparing now, so you have fewer details to deal with after the storm.
Finally, never pay for a repair up front. Make sure you're happy with repair work, before putting a pen to paper.
For more information on severe weather preparation and recovery, click here.
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