BACK TO BLOG August 28, 2017

File Your Hurricane Harvey Claim BEFORE September 1st – Here’s Why

Effective September 1, 2017, a new insurance law will go into effect in Texas. This new law was passed in the 2017 legislative session despite significant efforts by businesses, consumer advocacy groups, and many Texas homeowners to stop the bill. With the horrific damages suffered by many across South Texas — from Corpus Christi to past Houston — this new law will significantly harm Texas homeowners.

Here is How to File Your Claim, Some Important Phone Numbers, and a Sample Notice of Claim

What To Do To Protect Yourself

File Your Insurance Claim BEFORE September 1st

If you file your insurance claim before September 1st, you will be able to claim the 18% penalty under the old law. If you fail to file your claim before September 1st, you will be stuck with the new law.

One of the biggest benefits to insurance companies is that the new law significantly lowers the penalty insurance companies must pay for delaying payments. Under the old law, if an insurance company delayed proper payments, a homeowner could claim an 18% penalty. This was a significant penalty that helped protect homeowners. The new law effectively strips that penalty in half, down to about 9%.

File Your Insurance Claim IN WRITING

Normally, people call their insurance company to file their claim. With this new law coming into effect quickly, when the claim was filed will be an important question. If you can submit your claim in writing by certified mail or with some sort of tracking, that is the best case option. You can also fax your claim to your insurance carrier, but be sure to keep proof that your fax went through. Worst case scenario, submit the claim via email. As always, keep a copy of everything.

Even if you file your claim by September 1, 2017, you will still be under the new law for all of its other pro-insurance company, anti-homeowner provisions. Thank your legislature for that by voting in 2018. But, at least you will be able to protect your rights to the full statutory penalty if your insurance company underpays or delays your payment.

For more information about the new law, House Bill 1774 and Senate Bill 10, click HERE.