Nearly 670K Property Insurance Claims in Texas from Hurricane Harvey

05 Mar
Texas homeowners insurance coverage

The data revealed that roughly 27 percent of claims for all types of insurance have been paid and closed while a whopping 28 percent have been closed with no payment.

According to data from the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA) and the Texas Fair Access to Insurance Requirements Plan (FAIR Plan) Hurricane Harvey resulted in 670,000 property insurance claims to private insurance companies. This number takes into account both personal and commercial properties.

Breaking down the numbers even further found that roughly 354,000 of these claims were residential property claims and 37,000 were claims made by commercial property owners. The balance is made up of automobile claims (203,000), flood claims (66,000) and 12,000 claims that fall into the “other” category.

TDI collected the data and reports that insurers have paid out $4.5 billion in losses but those numbers are expected to go up as more claims are filed and paid. The data was collected from 850 companies, which makes up roughly 98 percent of the property and automobile market in Texas. Insurers have estimated that they will end up paying out close to $15.7 billion.

Many Claims Closed without Payment

The data revealed that roughly 27 percent of claims for all types of insurance have been paid and closed while a whopping 28 percent have been closed with no payment. Another 44 percent are still open and 7 percent of total claims have been reopened for review.

Insurers are reporting that the large number of claims that have been closed without payment stems from the fact that much of the damage caused by Harvey, especially in Houston and Southeast Texas, was caused by flooding. A standard homeowners policy does not cover flood damage so if these homeowners were not carrying a separate flood policy they may be on the hook for the damage.

It is also possible that homeowners filed a claim with their homeowners insurance to get a denial so they can apply for FEMA assistance. In order to apply for FEMA assistance homeowners must have a denial from their primary insurance company.

The collected data showed that the average claim amount for Hurricane Harvey damage, excluding flood damage, was roughly $7,600 for residential claims. Commercial property claims were much higher with the average coming in at $95,000.

Residential numbers jumped up dramatically when flood claims were examined with the average claim amount for flood damage hitting $80,000. If a homeowner is not carrying flood insurance this huge bill could end up being their problem.

Automotive Claims

When it comes to cars, the majority of auto claims were total losses, roughly 65 percent. The average automotive claim across all regions in Texas was $19,943. Total losses were especially prevalent in the Houston area. According to the data, about 47 percent of automobile claims have been paid and closed and 5 percent have been reopened. On average, it takes about 13 days for an insurance company to close an auto claim.

Houston saw the majority of automotive losses with 90 percent of auto claims coming from this area. The average automotive claim in Houston was $20,544 while the average in the Coastal Bend area was $10,251.

Claim Tips

If you had to make a claim due to Hurricane Harvey or any other storm here are a few tips to make the process go easier.

Home Inventory: Always keep an up to day home inventory so you can notify your insurance company of your exact losses. Take photos and video of all items, especially high value items. Note the purchase date, price paid and serial numbers. There are numerous home inventory apps that can make this process easier, always store your inventory off site or in the cloud.

Video Damage: Take photos and video of all damage as soon as possible from a variety of different angles. This should be sent to your insurance company’s adjuster.

Make Temporary Repairs: Once it is safe, make temporary repairs to your home. Board up broken windows and put a tarp over any holes in your roof. Damage that is caused after the storm because you did not make temporary repairs may not be covered.

Keep Receipts: Keep all receipts related to your claim. This can be for temporary repairs as well as food, lodging and any additional expenses that you incur because you cannot stay at your home.

Please contact us for quick Texas homeowners insurance quotes, we can help you review and compare the best prices and coverage options available while reviewing the most competitive Texas home insurance companies all in one place. Yes, it is that easy, let us help you compare insurance rates today!

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