AUSTIN (KXAN) — Now that we’re four into 2023, insurance companies are able to collect claims data for 2022. The data is not good news for Texas; We were the number one state for severe weather insurance claims in the nation.

KXAN meteorologist Nick Bannin spoke with Allstate Insurance Company’s Chris Lewis about new data on severe weather claims here locally.

Meteorologist Nick Banin: Chris, you have some new data on how severe weather we’ve had in Texas and how we compare to what it looks like nationally, right?

Chris Lewis, Allstate: Yes, absolutely. So maybe it’s not a list we want to top, but we’re number one in the country for severe weather and have been there pretty consistently for the past few years.

And others: What types of severe weather are we most likely to experience here in Texas in 2022?

Lewis: Yes, so of course the biggest problem we see is wind, and hail in particular. Last year we had 458 separate hailstorms in the state, with nearly 1.5 million properties damaged by hail. So clearly, that is the biggest problem we see.

And others: Now I imagine it’s just the cost of replacing the roof, as they are quite expensive.

Lewis: They are, yes. And like everything else, the cost of repairs continues to rise. So definitely a concern.

And others: What’s local here in Central Texas, specifically, the Austin metro. Where do we rank for severe weather claims within the state? What did we have to deal with last year?

Lewis: Yes, absolutely. So like the three largest counties here, Williamson County was in the top 10 for the state of Texas last year. We come in at number eight for Williamson County, Travis and Hayes were not on the list last year. But if we look at some preliminary data for this year, it looks like Travis County is definitely making the list.

And others: And remind people, the list of…?

Lewis: List of Texas counties affected by severe weather

And others: God, a list that we do not want to be. But our county had at least one. So you have already gone over the ranking. You have some information about the disparity between severe weather concerns people have versus people actually working on it and preparing for severe weather. Can you talk about that?

Lewis: absolutely yes So we did a joint survey with Morning Consult that showed that people are really concerned about it, right. They worry about it. A home is one of your biggest investments. So the data shows that 68% people were very worried about the occurrence of this natural disaster, yet 43% people had a plan to deal with that disaster. Such a staggering number to show the disparity you speak of.

And others: Why are so many people concerned but not acting?

Lewis: I think there’s a lot of, well, ‘This can’t happen to me, right? It’s not something that could happen to me.’ But I also think that there are a lot of unknowns, ‘What should I do? What does that look like? How do I implement that plan?’

And others: For those who are not doing anything. What do you suggest they do before the next storm?

Lewis: Yes, perfect question. So I think some of the things that people can do right now, number one is reviewing their insurance policy, no matter what company you’re with. Whether it’s Allstate or someone else, contact your agent to go over your coverage. Before the storm hits, make sure you understand what you have and, more importantly, what you don’t have. We don’t like surprises. Also get a disaster preparedness kit together, right. I think the snow storm we had a few years ago taught us that we need to have the basics like water and food and don’t forget about your pets when you’re putting it together. But also, you know, a charging block, make sure you’re ready for it to make sure you can charge your iPhone and everything.

Take an inventory of your belongings, right? We all have things hidden in the closet or under the bed that we don’t remember and when a disaster strikes, we want to make sure we get compensated for all of those things. So take inventory, so you know what.

Last, but certainly not least, and perhaps most important is to have a plan. Just like when you go to cook your favorite meal, you’re going off a recipe, have a plan, practice that plan, make sure everyone in the house knows where to go, who to call when there’s a disaster, because when the real thing happens happens, you want to make sure everyone is prepared for it.

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