Damage from the Storm? Here's What You Do Next

Spring storms in Texas are known for the ferocity, often spinning off tornadoes or dropping hailstones that range in size from peas to softballs.

After you've been caught in the path of the storm, who do you turn to next? NBC 5 Responds is here to answer your questions about how to begin the cleanup and recovery following a major storm.

NBC 5 Responds' Deanna Dewberry answered questions during a Facebook Live chat session Tuesday. You can see them on our Facebook page or embedded below.

While Dewberry answered most of your questions during her Facebook chat, she contacted the Texas Department of Insurance for answers to some of your insurance questions.

Lauren asked, "Does a call to insurance automatically create a claim?"

Answer: If you call your agent with a general question it's called a "customer inquiry." But if you have questions about specific damage, that opens a claim.

Gilbert asked, "Will a hail claim raise my rates on my homeowners?"

Answer: No, an insurer cannot surcharge an individual policy because of a weather-related claim, and they can't cancel your policy. But rates for our area can go up over time because of weather-related claims.

Kim asked, "The storm was three weeks ago. I had a claim then, but it wasn't completed. This storm was so much worse. Will they make me pay the deductible twice now?"

Answer: Yes. According to TDI, storm damage that happens weeks, days, even hours apart will be treated as separate occurrences and the policyholder is responsible for the deductible each time.

Matthew had a great question that had everyone in the newsroom talking. He asked, "If my tree falls on my neighbor's house, whose insurance pays?"

Answer: Your neighbor's insurance policy is responsible for the damage to his house. You would only be responsible if there were negligence on your part.

Below are a series of stories we've done that answer some of the more common questions viewers have about storm repairs to homes and cars. 

If you're question isn't answered below, call the NBC 5 Responds Hotline at 844-5RESPND, or 844-573-7763, or fill out the complaint form on the NBC 5 Responds page.

During our most recent storm, North Texans in Clay, Montague, Jack, Wise, Denton, Collin and Hunt counties were the hardest hit with reports of hail ranging in size from pea-sized to softball-sized.

NBC 5 Meteorologist Rick Mitchell recorded a short video on Facebook showing the hail core moving from Clay County through Hunt County.

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A 1 minute video showing the swath of hail from northwest Texas to east of the metroplex. --RickInteractive radar and forecast information here: http://on.nbcdfw.com/z6R4Tz3

Posted by Rick Mitchell NBC5 on Monday, April 11, 2016

The hail smashed the windows on cars and homes, dinged cars and a damaged roof structures.

The National Service said in the previous eight years (Jan. 1 - April 30) there were an average of 157 severe hail reports. This year, Jan. 1 through April 11, the NWS said there were 188 severe hail reports filed.

A damage estimate was not immediately available following the April 11 storm.

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