Insurance companies in the U.S. have received at least 100,000 claims for cars impacted by Harvey and seventy-five percent of those claims have been for totaled cars. The number of claims is expected to rise.
Some experts believe 300,000 to 500,000 vehicles were destroyed by Harvey's path, many of those being covered by insurance. Even up to one million cars destroyed number is considered. Possibly Harvey has destroyed more vehicles than Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and Hurricane Sandy in 2012. About 15% of car owners in Texas do not have the insurance required for owning a vehicle. Harvey is already possibly one of the costliest storms in U.S. history, with an estimates ranging from around $75 billion to $95 billion in damages.
That means property damage to cars, homes, commercial buildings and infrastructure. “You really have to have a car if you’re in Houston,” says Andrea French, executive director of Transportation Advocacy Group Houston, because Houston is a car-dependent city. 94.4 percent of households in the Houston area have cars, 1.8 each on average. Counting just licensed cars (though many of the destroyed were waiting on dealer lots), the cost of the losses sits somewhere between $2.7 and $4.9 billion. The need for replacement vehicles is massive and immediate and this is not relate to only individuals: emergency services and other groups like the Red Cross need to replace damaged cars.