ICT’s Response to Comments on Insurance Industry and Harvey

09/29/2017

During a Texas Tribune event earlier today, Texas A&M Chancellor John Sharp, named by Governor Abbott to lead the state’s recovery from Hurricane Harvey, commented that the insurance industry, specifically “agents”, were waiting on FEMA before paying insurance claims. Sharp said agents “should pay claims now!”

His comment is troubling because insurance companies have already paid out an estimated $2 billion in insurance claims on flooded automobiles and wind damaged homes due to Harvey’s 130 mile per hour winds and massive flooding.

“Neither agents nor agencies, pay insurance claims,” said Mark Hanna, a spokesman for the Insurance Council of Texas explained. “Companies review and pay claims if due under the insurance policy.”

Our member companies have been in the damaged areas since the first few days after Harvey with mobile assistance stations available to answer consumers’ questions and receive their claims. Insurers continue to work throughout the coastal areas to answer their customers’ questions and resolve their claims.

A homeowner or fire policy does not provide coverage for flood damage, but a flooded auto would be covered for flood damage if the owner had comprehensive coverage. If you have any questions regarding your coverage, we urge all Texans affected by Harvey to contact their insurance company or insurance agent for assistance.

FEMA has provided guidance on applying for disaster assistance at www.disasterassistance.gov and information on insurance processing for flood coverage can be found here - FEMA Fact Sheet.