File Your Hurricane Harvey Insurance Claims before Friday
Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of Hurricane Harvey throughout the Texas area. If you or someone you know has had a home or business impacted by Hurricane Harvey, it is imperative that you file an insurance claim before Friday.
According to the Texas Bar Association:
Texas property owners should be aware that House Bill 1774, passed by the 85th Texas Legislature, will change the law regarding how legal actions for certain insurance claims are handled, including some claims for property damages or losses caused by natural disasters. If you need to make an insurance claim related to Hurricane Harvey, you should study how the law may affect you. Claims made before September 1, 2017, will be subject to current law; those filed on or after September 1 will fall under the new law.
You can review the bill in full here. If you have any questions please consult legal counsel.
Most insurance companies will allow you to file a claim on the company’s website, by fax, or by certified mail. The policy holder must retain a copy of the filing. According to the Texas Trial Lawyer Association, the claim “does not need to say anything more than that the policy holder suffered damage from Hurricane Harvey and intends to file a claim. The notice should contain the name and contact information of the policy holder and, if possible, the insurance policy number.”
The new law may not impact federal flood insurance or windstorm policies. To file a federal flood insurance claim, please complete the following steps:
- Report your loss in writing to your insurance agent ASAP
- Take photographs of water-damaged objects. Do not dispose of any items until the adjuster has seen them.
- An adjuster will call within 24-48 hours to schedule an appointment.
- During your appointment, be ready with documents related to the damaged property, like photographs and purchase receipts, and your policy number and any other insurance information.
- The adjuster will assess the damage and provide you with a flood certification number, a suggested Proof of Loss based on the assessment, and a local contact if additional visits are needed.
- The adjuster WILL NOT approve or disapprove your claim.
- Review, sign, and submit the Proof of Loss to your insurance company.
If you or someone you know needs emergency assistance please review the phone numbers and instructions from FEMA.gov:
Only call 911 if you have an immediate need for medical attention or evacuation assistance.
If you can't get through to 911 on first try, keep calling.
Another option is to place a call to one of five numbers for the Houston Command Center of the United States Coast Guard. The numbers are:
When you call please provide:
Number of people trapped
Number of pets
Sources: FEMA.gov, State Bar of Texas