Maybe it’s a closet. Maybe a windowless hallway. A basement. It’s the place where you go. The place where your whole family knows to go when disaster hits. The sirens of a tornado, hailstorm, or hurricane warning blaring as you huddle close to those around you and wait out the storm. But for many, as the storm clears and they survey the wreckage around them, Texans are finding that a new storm is on the horizon.
An hour outside of Amarillo, in the hardworking town of Pampa, Harold Price runs his family’s 45-year-old hardware store. But after a hailstorm ravaged his roof, and caused leaks that damaged over $170,000 in merchandise, Price struggles to keep his doors open. Despite paying his insurance premiums for 20 years, Price’s insurance company denied his claim and terminated his coverage. Left to repair his own roof, and take out a loan to replace the damaged merchandise, Price had to cut back on jobs and the growth of his business.
In 2010, Gary Ward was hit by a drunk driver who had been over-served at a local bar. However, he was unable to receive a settlement to cover his long term medical costs because the bar did not carry liability insurance. In 2015, Gary’s wife Angela testified for Chris Turner’s HB409, which would require bars and restaurants to carry liability insurance. We spoke to the Ward family before their testimony about how the bill could have impacted their lives.