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HVAC damage Snow and ice from Winter Storm Uri in February caused widespread damage, power outages and other repercussions throughout Texas, but these were not the sole causes of loss for damaged equipment. (Photo: Jiujiuer/Shutterstock.com)

Insured losses from Winter Storm Uri are expected to exceed $10 billion; however, adjusters shouldn’t assume resulting property claims with HVAC systems are all related to the unusual weather events that overwhelmed Texas and caused catastrophic damages in mid-February.

HVAC and refrigeration damage assessment companies have completed thousands of equipment evaluations for HVAC systems in Texas that all began to fail around then. While many have signs of damage or aren’t functioning as designed, comprehensive testing based on engineering best practices has led to cause of loss determinations that differ from what many insureds – and their contractors – expect them to be. Before settling another claim where an insured has stated their system failed because of freezing conditions or frozen refrigerant, insurance professionals should better understand why that may not be accurate and requires verification.

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