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Trouble for Texas Has Just Begun

A major catastrophe is underway in Texas. It started with the arrival of Hurricane Harvey, now a tropical storm that has stalled over the eastern part of Texas. It is continuing to dump more rain, causing massive flooding...
August 29, 2017

A major catastrophe is underway in Texas. It started with the arrival of Hurricane Harvey, now a tropical storm that has stalled over the eastern part of Texas. It is continuing to dump more rain, causing massive flooding.

The flooding in Houston, the nation’s fourth-largest city, is worse than authorities had anticipated and very widespread, as some parts have been pummeled with as much as 30 inches of rain. And things are bound to get worse over the next few days, as the rain isn’t expected to stop anytime soon. The National Weather Service said some parts of the Houston area could get as much as 50 inches, which would mark a new record, with the worst of floods expected Wednesday and Thursday, although there is still uncertainty over the storm’s path.

Hurricane Harvey is the most powerful hurricane to strike Texas in more than 50 years.

Insurance adjusters and their mobile claim centers have already been deployed and are heading toward the areas of the Texas coastline receiving the brunt of damage.

As soon as local authorities clear the damaged areas for access, insurance company representatives will be on the scene and will start the recovery process for impacted policyholders. Here are some claims filing tips whether reporting damage to your property over the phone or through your mobile device:

1. Contact your agent or insurer as soon as possible to begin the process.
2. Document your loss.
3. Check with your insurer before discarding damaged items and materials.
4. Sign up for SMS/text alerts.
5. Know what emergency services are available.
6.
Keep a claim diary.

Here’s information on how to file a flood claim from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP):


Flood Infographic
http://www.iii.org/article/infographic-how-to-file-a-flood-insurance-claim


The following two fact sheets by the Insurance Information Institute are especially pertinent at this time:

 

This page on FEMA’s website has emergency information, including listings of resources, how to apply for assistance, how to file a flood claim with NFIP and key contact information. This page is updated periodically by FEMA.


It is expected that there will be substantial claims filed with the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which is already carrying considerable debt from previous severe flooding events in recent years, including Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and Superstorm Sandy in 2012. The NFIP now carries private reinsurance coverage to help maintain its claims paying abilities.

 

Separately, the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA) is the state-mandated insurer of last resort that provides coverage for wind and hail losses only. TWIA has not endured a major event in recent years and has seen its liquidity improve over time.  It also has reinsurance and can also assess Texas property writers for additional funding if necessary.

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