By Jeff Paul


DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – If you have not received the call or a letter, brace yourself. Insurance rates are likely going up after a year of damaging storms in North Texas.

To the surprise of many residents, rates are likely jumping regardless if the customer was in the path of the storms or not.

Just before the start of 2016, a tornado killed several people and damaged homes across multiple cities in North Texas. Two hail storms also attributed to the billions in storm damages this year in the metroplex.

“It’s kind of ironic because you get a call from the insurance agent and almost jokingly say ‘is this because my rates are going up?’ ” said David Thornton, who lives in the Lakewood Heights neighborhood of Dallas.

Four years have passed since Thornton filed a claim for storm damage. But he just learned his homeowners insurance is going up around 6 percent.

“It’s sticker shock whenever you get your rate increase,” said Ben Patterson, an independent insurance agent who operates in Garland.

Rates are rising 8 to 20 percent industry-wide, according to Patterson.

“They’re not looking at the family component. It is the cold hard numbers,” he said.

Patterson said premiums are thrown into the same pot. But historic storm damage drained it quicker than forecasted.

“The best advice I can give is competition is a great thing,” said Patterson.

There are around 100 different companies in North Texas, according to Patterson and rates vary.

The Insurance Council of Texas said there isn’t a specific across-the-board hike; each company acts on its own.

The State of Texas offers help to consumers trying to compare rates.