We’ve revised the property claim form in an effort to make reporting easier for members. Providing an exact location (specific address) for the damaged property, including vehicles, is extremely important. Please be sure you indicate the contact person for the claim and provide at least one good phone number for the contact person. These things assist the Fund in setting up a claim and getting an adjuster assigned to inspect the damaged property.
FEMA granted Governor Greg Abbott’s Request for a Presidential Disaster Declaration in response to Hurricane Harvey. The Governor requested the declaration in order to provide Individual Assistance, Public Assistance and Hazard Mitigation to Texas communities affected by Harvey to help rebuild communities. FEMA provides grants to state and local governments and certain nonprofit entities to assist them with the response to, and recovery from, disasters. The Public Assistance program may cover uninsured losses. Specifically, the program provides assistance for debris removal, emergency protective measures, and permanent restoration of infrastructure. Documentation will be important to apply for these funds.
Your Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) can assist regarding this program.
Velvet Dixon at extension 12386 or (512-427-2386)
Karyn Bartels at extension 12414 or (512-427-2414)
Tyler Wolkenhauer at extension 12316 or (512-427-2316)
Lloyd Gosselink represents many TWCA members and has had a long relationship with the association dating back to the firm’s founding. As an extension of this relationship, Lloyd Gosselink has graciously agreed to serve as a resource for the Fund and its members as questions arise during the aftermath of Harvey. Lloyd Gosselink has set up a Harvey Response Team comprised of attorneys in each of their practice areas to help field questions and provide assistance in their firm’s practice areas on a pro bono basis. Lloyd Gosselink invites Fund members to reach out to them for possible assistance.
Here is a link to their website for further information – http://www.lglawfirm.com/hurricane-response/
Learn more about these important coverages and claims handling.
It never takes long for unscrupulous contractors to emerge during crises. Even in emergency situations, there are a few simple steps you can take to guard against unreliable contractors.
The Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) urges you to be careful when hiring contractors to repair, rebuild, or clean up your home or businesses. Here are some tips to help you protect yourself.
Shortly after Hurricane Harvey hit the Texas coast, there was a great deal of media coverage encouraging property owners to file Hurricane Harvey claims before House Bill 1774 goes into effect. This new legislation applies to insurance companies and does not apply to self-insured risk pools such as the Fund. In addition, contrary to some erroneous reports, the new law does not bar access to the courts nor does it prevent consumers from retaining legal counsel. One of the key changes in the new law is that the insurance company must be given written pre-suit notice of legal action and an opportunity to inspect the property in question. You should not have any concerns related to the implementation of HB1774.
Complete the appropriate property or auto loss form and email to OSCTexas@YorkRSG.com. Please take pictures or video of damaged structures and preserve anything that might assist in adjusting the claim. It is also appropriate to make emergency repairs and take steps to prevent further damage, as your coverage supports these emergency and mitigating repairs.
It is the intent of the Fund to investigate and determine if there is coverage for your reported loss. If there is no applicable coverage from the Fund, the Fund will provide the member with documentation that can be used to apply with FEMA.
FEMA provides grants to state and local governments and certain nonprofit entities to assist them with the response to, and recovery from, disasters. The Public Assistance program may cover uninsured losses. Specifically, the program provides assistance for debris removal, emergency protective measures, and permanent restoration of infrastructure. Documentation will be important to apply for these funds.
Your Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) can assist regarding this program.
To file a NFIP claim:
The Fund covers loss or damage to your property damaged by the storm such as buildings, contents, electronic data processing equipment (computers), and other personal property you have scheduled with the Fund. Coverage will vary depending upon the cause of damage (e.g., windstorm damage versus flooding damage). Coverage also varies based upon each building’s location with respect to windstorm tier and flood zone. We encourage members to report all damaged property to the Fund, whether or not there is any coverage for the property. If there is no coverage through the Fund, documentation of denial of coverage by the Fund will be important as members seek assistance from FEMA.
When you report a claim to the Fund, we will determine the flood zone for each damaged building at each location. If the property is located in a 100 year flood zone, the Fund does not provide flood coverage. In that case, the Fund will provide a denial of the claim based upon the flood zone. This will be important documentation as you seek assistance from FEMA.
Yes, additional expenses and loss of income arising out of damage to a covered building (i.e., a building not in a 100 year flood zone) will be covered subject to your applicable sublimit. Examples of extra expense include temporary office space, additional utility expenses incurred and expedited delivery charges to get parts or equipment to repair or replace damaged property. Business interruption covers lost revenue as a result of your inability to provide goods or services because of damage to a covered building or facility. Refer also to the Fund’s Risk Alert posted here.
No, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) does not cover extra expense and business interruption. Rather, NFIP coverage is limited to physical damage to the covered property.
Yes, you should report the damage to the Fund. If you elect not to repair or replace a damaged building, the Fund will pay the actual cash value for the building. Actual cash value is equivalent to the replacement cost of the building less an appropriate amount for depreciation based on the age and condition of the building.
We encourage members to seek assistance from FEMA. Please also reference the question above related to the FEMA assistance program.
If emergency repairs are needed, you should make them as soon as practical. This includes debris removal or repairs to protect property from further damage. Save any invoices for emergency repairs and document any items that must be discarded, such as equipment or personal property. Take photos of any items being discarded and keep a running list of those items with as much detail as possible. This information can be provided to the adjuster during the inspection for inclusion in a repair estimate for any remaining damages.
No, you do not need to notify the Fund before you hire a contractor. However, you should seek out reputable contractors and collect multiple bids before securing a contractor for repairs. Please also reference the Risk Alert related to hiring contractors located here.
If you don’t have names of contractors, you should contact other governmental entities and local businesses in your area for references. You can also search for contractors on the internet. We encourage to check with the Better Business Bureau and to check references for each contractor under consideration. Again, please also reference the Risk Alert related to hiring contractors located here.
No. However, you should take multiple pictures of the damaged furniture or equipment as evidence of the damage before disposing of the property.
It depends upon your location. As you might imagine, there is a backlog of assignments for independent adjusters to inspect properties throughout southeast Texas, even with adjusters coming into the area from all over the country. In some cases, an adjuster may visit your office within a few days. In some cases, it might take as long as a couple weeks before an adjuster can make it to your office. These delays will be compounded by the arrival of Hurricane Irma in Florida.
The deductible applies on a per occurrence basis for damage to real and personal property, other than vehicles. In other words, a single deductible would apply to all real and personal property, other than vehicles. For vehicles, a separate automobile physical damage deductible would apply to each damaged vehicle.
If a covered vehicle is damaged due to the storm, it is covered subject to any applicable deductible. The adjuster will work with the member to determine if the vehicle is repairable or if it is a total loss. In the event of a total loss, the member will be paid for the vehicle’s value. Disposal of any total loss vehicle may be delayed due to the volume of vehicles impacted by the storm. Members may have to store a total loss vehicle at their facility until such time as it can be removed and disposed of. However, we will make every effort to expedite this process.
The National Weather Service is a component of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). NOAA is an Operating Unit of the U.S. Department of Commerce.
We updated this bulletin which provides an overview of some of the key steps to consider before there is an imminent threat of a hurricane making landfall on the Texas coast. It also provides a listing of important resources that can help water districts and authorities in their disaster preparations.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offers comprehensive preparedness solutions.