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The storm in Texas could cost insurance companies record losses in the first quarter: Best



(Reuters) – Insurers could suffer record catastrophic losses in the first quarter after the historic storm in Texas, which destroyed the state's power grid and caused extensive property damage including collapsed roofs and broken pipes, the firm A.M. Best said late on Friday.

The storm occurred during a quarter that is usually the most benign for disaster losses and could be the most expensive winter weather event in Texas history, says Oldwick, New Jersey-based Best in a report.

The Texas Department of Insurance plans to collect data from real estate insurers to assess costs arising from the paralyzed power grid, roof collapse, broken pipes and other problems, a spokesman said.

"We expect this to be a major event, but we just do not know how big it will be," said Texas Department of Insurance spokesman Ben Gonzalez, noting that data information reflects the regulator's process after other major storms, such as hurricanes.

Karen Clark & ​​Co., a Boston-based disaster model company, estimates an $ 1

8 billion insurance tab for property damage in Texas and other states, a spokesman said.

Bitter cold weather and snow have paralyzed Texas, shutting down much of the state's electricity grid and freezing pipes and waterways, leaving communities across the state either without water completely or forced to boil it for safety.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott confirmed that all power-generating facilities were online as of Thursday afternoon. He urged lawmakers to pass legislation to ensure the network was prepared for cold weather in the future.

Texas insurance companies expect "hundreds of thousands of claims," ​​a Texas Insurance Insurance spokeswoman said Thursday. from small fenders to significant home damage due to cracked pipes and everything in between, she said. Catalog

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