“I’ve never seen cars destroyed like this,” says Leroy Perkins of the Perkins Insurance Agency in Abilene, Texas. “This is the worst damage I’ve seen in my 41 years in the insurance business.” The insurance losses from the damaged cars and trucks are expected to exceed $100 million from a storm that unleashed softball-sized hail in the area in the middle of June, according to the Insurance Council of Texas.
At the time of the storm, the Binswanger Glass team in Abilene, Texas, was working overtime to keep up with demand. And the team remains busy.
“We’re still seeing a lot of cars. The customers have either found out their cars were totaled or got the money from their insurance companies to replace the windshields,” says Yolanda Daniel, office coordinator for the Binswanger branch.
“We expect to be very busy into the last part of August and maybe even into September,” she adds. “Mother Nature has it’s own mind and you hate to benefit from such a bad storm, but business is up.”
“The North side of town got hit pretty hard by hail,” she says. “The hospital and college was hit and there was a lot of auto damage.”
The company has been able to keep up with inventory demand, which was a concern when the storm occurred. Caffey’s Auto Glass in Abilene, on the other, has been struggling to meet inventory demand.
“We are slammed,” says owner Craig Caffey. “We are just very busy and expect it to last months.”
“Hundreds of vehicles, many of them new cars, were declared totaled from the beating they took,” according to Mark Hanna, a spokesperson for the Insurance Council of Texas.
The insurance council predicts damage from the storm to reach $400 million, including damage to vehicles, homes and commercial property.