13th Annual Hurricane Tour Returns to Texas Coast

On the one year anniversary of Hurricane Harvey, this is a good time to remind coastal residents of the need to be prepared for a major storm and lessons learned from Harvey. On August 17, 2017, Harvey was simply a tropical storm east of the Lesser Antilles. A few days later, it had reformed into a Category 4 storm with 150 mile an hour winds and slammed into the Texas coast near Rockport.

ICT’s Mark Hanna was in Corpus Christi when he, along with thousands of other Texans, had to evacuate the coast. ICT’s team of insurance and weather experts return to the Texas coast on Monday, August 20, to visit with local media outlets and help educate residents on how they can prepare for the next hurricane.

Upon making landfall Aug. 25, Hurricane Harvey’s winds caused more than $5 billion in insured windstorm losses in the Port Aransas and Rockport area. Harvey then stalled over the Houston and Beaumont areas and caused massive flood damage with record rainfall, including 60 inches of rain in Nederland, and flooding large portions of southeast Texas, including Houston and Harris County.

“The majority of residents whose homes flooded from Hurricane Harvey had no flood insurance,” said Hanna, an ICT spokesperson. “In Harris County, at least half of the flooded homes were outside existing flood plains.”

The National Flood Insurance Program expects $11 billion in insured flood losses. Estimates of uninsured flood losses exceed $100 billion. The insurance industry has paid $3.5 billion in losses for an estimated 250,000 flooded vehicles. Overall, insurers have paid more than $19 billion for Harvey related claims.

The Rockport and coastal bend areas suffered the worst of the wind damage. Texas Windstorm Insurance Association, TWIA, will pay an estimated $1.6 billion in wind related property losses for coastal residents and businesses. The private insurance market has paid $282 million to TWIA to help pay for those losses.

Although this has been a quiet year for hurricanes, coastal residents should make sure they’re ready for the next storm. The peak of hurricane season in Texas is September 13, and typically, our largest hurricanes have happened after mid-August.

ICT’s team of experts will make media stops in 16 Texas coastal cities traveling from Beaumont to Brownsville in five days. Hanna will join representatives from the Texas Department of Insurance, the National Weather Service and the insurance industry.

“Our message has always encouraged coastal residents to have an evacuation plan, and after seeing the devastation caused by Hurricanes Ike in 2008 and Harvey, we will again remind homeowners to review their coverages and coverage amounts, and strongly urge that they consider flood insurance,” said Hanna. “Many homes are at risk of flooding in a hurricane even if not located in a flood zone. Recent storms have shown the need for flood coverage in areas outside flood zones.”

The Insurance Council of Texas (ICT) prepared a documentary on Hurricane Harvey which can be viewed here.