A recent article by Houston’s Chronicle highlights the delays being faced by Texas property owners in the wake of Hurricane Ike. Not surprisingly, almost all involve insurance company delays:
LIST OF COMPLAINTS
Top five reasons Texas homeowners have lodged Ike-related complaints against the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association, as of March 12, and the number of complaints.
Delays (claims handling) 607 Unsatisfactory settlement 373 or offer Denial of claim 281 TWIA appeal 262 Customer service 107
Source: Texas Department of Insurance
The problem many people are facing regarding this issue is that bureaucracy and insurance companies’ unpublicized policies regarding automatic claim refusals or cap limits impede good faith claim efforts. Without proper legal support from a practiced attorney, many of these Texans will face difficulties seeing more, or any, money in the near future.
The article continues and outlines the problem that far too many homeowners faced in the wake of hurricanes in the Gulf Coast like Katrina. The insurance companies often rely upon analyses that focus entirely upon flood damage instead of wind damage, etcetera. This works to undermine claims made by policy holders that are made in good faith.
Hurricane Ike razed Joni Harding’s home and two rental properties six months ago today.
Since then she’s been able to pool enough money from her three flood insurance policies and savings to rebuild her primary residence, but she is still waiting for a settlement offer from the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association on two of her properties, including her home.
Harding is among thousands of so-called slabbers, mostly from Bolivar Peninsula, still waiting on the state-sponsored company to make an offer. And many of those who have checks say they’re not enough.
As far as legalities, it is important, again, for policyholders to hire an attorney to go through the complexities of their policy and find out their best course of action to get the money they deserve. Attorneys like those at the Berniard Law Firm utilize construction experts to make sure claims are on mark and that present day values are used to make sure that the claim they put forth is the best.