Winter Storm Will Be ‘Largest Insurance Claim Event In History’ Says Insurance Council Of Texas

NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – “We kind of panicked a little bit, rushed in the house and our dog was standing in about three- inches of water,”  said Southlake homeowner Lori Cerami describing what she saw after leaving her home just long enough to take a warm shower at a friend’s house.

The family’s hot water tank burst in the attic sending water gushing through the canned lights onto their first floor.

She lost her daughter several years ago in a tragic accident. She could only think about one thing: the pictures hanging on the wall.

“Our daughter passed away a few years ago and I was immediately concerned about the irreplaceable pictures that I have of her, so I ran to the pictures of her to try and get them off the wall.”

Fortunately, most were saved.

In Grapevine, 78-year-old Sandy Silverman describes the two inches of water which flooded her apartment in two hours.

“From the ice maker,” Silverman says.

She is now living with her daughter who explained what happened.

“The maintenance man said it was the refrigerator, the pipe behind the refrigerator that supplies the water.”

They haven’t been back to the apartment.

“All we could think of was trying to get her to safety and try to get our photo albums and she’s 78, a lifetime of our most important documents. We just wanted to get out of her apartment,” says Stacie Silverman.

Those are just two stories. They seem endless.

The CBS 11 I-Team has received so many videos and pictures of homes flooded because of burst pipes.

And, as we warm up and your pipes thaw, we’ll likely see more.

Camille Garcia, with the Insurance Council of Texas, says, “Know your policy, know your deductible.” And remember, policies vary.

According to Garcia, your policy should likely include coverage for flooring, baseboards, dry wall, and paint.

It may also include personal property, hotels, additional living expenses and perishable food.

If pipes break, Garcia says, “Documenting the steps you’ve taken and the repairs you’ve done is really critical.”


–Make sure you take photos and videos of the damage and cleanup.
–If you go to the home improvement store for supplies, save your receipts.
–Log your clean-up hours
–If you hire help, get references, and make sure they are reputable.
–Save those invoices.
–And, here’s what you should NOT do. “Don’t sign any contracts right now for extended damage repairs because you don’t know what tomorrow is going to bring,” says Garcia. She says, as the temperatures warm, we may see more damage and more pipes break.

The Insurance Council of Texas is also asking all Texas residents to pack some patience right now as agents are dealing with all claims — homeowners, business and auto.

If you do not get the coverage you expect, you have recourse.

You can file a complaint with the Texas Department of Insurance.

CBS Dallas / Fort Worth