Hurricane Harvey Helpful Information Regarding Personal Insurance Claims
August 31, 2017
You may have seen social media posts about your rights and obligations when it comes to reporting a claim.
• The normal claims process has not changed.
• Texas has the strongest consumer protections in the nation against insurers that unfairly deny or delay claims.
• You will continue to have a full-range of remedies in the event an insurance company acts fraudulently or in bad faith.
• Lawsuit-abuse legislation (HB 1774) applies to lawsuits filed after September 1, 2017.
• The Texas Department of Insurance will, as always, in catastrophic events, be monitoring the activities of insurance companies to make sure that claims are being paid properly and promptly.
• Be aware of individuals claiming to help you get more from your insurance company.
• Please file your claim as quickly as possible.
Our thoughts are with you during this time of crisis. Please let us know how we can help. We are here to serve.
You’ve had damage to your home due to Harvey. What should you do?
1. Stay safe!
• If you were ordered to evacuate, don’t return until local authorities say it is safe
• Watch for downed power lines
• Report broken or damaged water, gas, or sewer lines
• Don’t use tap water until advised it is safe to do so
• Make sure buildings are structurally sound before entering them
2. Get your claim reported
• You don’t normally need your paper policy to begin a claim filing process. Often, your insurance company does not even need your policy number! They can locate your policy information with the name on your policy and your address.
• If your home is uninhabitable, make your insurance company aware of that early in the claim reporting process.
3. Complete Temporary Repairs to Prevent Further Damage
• Tarp Roofs
• Cover Damaged Windows/Doors
• Save receipts and invoices from any emergency repairs to provide to your insurance company. Some might be recoverable as part of your insurance claim.
• Often your insurance company can provide referrals to service providers that can help with immediate needs such as roofing contractors and water damage mitigation.
4. Organize Damaged Items List
• Include descriptions of personal property items (pictures are great!), original cost if known, and approximate age
• Obtain estimates for repair to provide to your insurance company
• Photos and videos of damage will be incredibly helpful during the claim process
• Some policies may include coverage for food spoilage due to electrical outage. Pictures and an itemized list of items disposed of will be needed if there is coverage.
Texas Windstorm Association
If you have Texas Windstorm Association Insurance Policy, you can contact them at 800-788-8247 or at twia.org to file your claim.
There are many different flood insurance administration companies. It may be difficult to know who to contact to file your claim without contacting your agent first. If you know your flood insurance company, claims can be filed over the phone or online in most cases.
The American Red Cross
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
National Flood Insurance Program