Woman Loses Home in Hurricane Beryl After ‘Heartbreaking’ Insurance Issues

A 73-year-old woman is unable to repair her home after it was destroyed by Hurricane Beryl on Monday because of “heartbreaking issues” with the insurance industry, and her family has rallied to help her raise the funds.

Hurricane Beryl made landfall in Matagorda, Texas, on Monday morning as a Category 1 hurricane after tearing through the Caribbean. The storm lingered in Texas, causing damage from strong winds and pummeling the region with heavy rain. The storm has killed at least 11 people in the Caribbean, the Associated Press reported. Six people in Texas and one person in Louisiana were also killed.

The storm also destroyed Phyllis Yankey’s home in Conroe, Texas, after a tree fell through the building. A GoFundMe campaign created by Chris Yankey, her son, said Phyllis Yankey was safe from the storm as she had been visiting her daughter in Kentucky. However, her home was not covered by insurance “because of some now heartbreaking issues with the insurance companies,” so she won’t be reimbursed for the damage.

Woman Without Home Insurance Sees House Destroyed
A fallen tree outside a home in Orange, Texas, on August 31, 2017, after Hurricane Harvey hit. On Monday, a tree fell through Phyllis Yankey’s home in the state.


Home insurance premiums have skyrocketed in Texas and other states vulnerable to extreme weather events, such as hurricanes and wildfires, in recent years as climate change is expected to increase the frequency and severity of natural disasters. The average annual cost of home insurance in Texas for 2024 is $5,171, which is more than double the national average of $2,423, said a report by MoneyGeek, a financial website.

“Her life savings have now been destroyed. She has lost everything and won’t be able to recover from this event financially without our help,” the GoFundMe campaign said.

Newsweek has contacted Chris Yankey for comment via X, formerly Twitter.

The goal of the GoFundMe campaign, which was created on Monday, is $250,000. At the time of writing, it had raised about $6,500.

In the campaign, Chris Yankey described his mother’s life and included photos, such as her “breast cancer survivor picture.” He said she had “been on her own” since 2009, when his father, Mike, died.

“She is truly a remarkable woman and she needs all of us right now,” the campaign said. “We, her family, are able to cover her short term needs, including lodging and other immediate necessities, but she will need your help to recover from this.”

Beryl was the first hurricane in the 2024 Atlantic hurricane season, which began on June 1 and is set to run through November 30. Experts have repeatedly said they believe this year will be exceptionally strong for hurricanes, citing abnormally warm sea surface temperatures and El Nino’s expected shift into La Nina this summer or fall.