ICT Urges Residents to Prepare For Incoming Weather Aimed at the Texas Coast

July 24, 2020

For Immediate Release

Contact: Camille Garcia, Director of Communication & Public Affairs 512-713-4262


Texas is no stranger to severe weather and this weekend we are expecting Tropical Storm Hanna to make landfall along the Texas coast. “Today, as we see disturbances enter the Gulf, we must remain vigilant to protect ourselves and our property from damaging weather conditions including hurricane-forced winds, rain, storm surge and flooding; all characteristics of the kind of weather that tests Texans’ resiliency,” says Camille Garcia, ICT Director of Communications.

Once a named storm enters the Gulf of Mexico, windstorm insurance is no longer available and it takes about 30 days before a flood policy takes effect. Remember, even if you are not located In a flood prone area, FLOOD INSURANCE is still an option. During Hurricane Harvey, over 50% of homes damaged by flooding were not in a flood zone. And this is the time where you’d really want to ask about AUTO COMPREHENSIVE COVERAGE – about 75% of vehicle owners opt for this coverage because it’s what’s going to cover damages from such losses like flood, hail, theft and vandalism.  

It’s important to prepare today for tomorrow. Here are some tips to know:

Before the storm

  • Make a plan; talk with your family about where to go in extreme weather.
  • Contact your insurance agent or carrier and check your existing insurance policies. Your auto, homeowners, renters, flood and wind policies are all important to recovery.

 

During the storm

  • A watch means that a tornado is being monitored.
  • A warning means that there’s an immediate threat. Take cover immediately!

 

After the storm

  • Assess your damages carefully and call your agent or insurance company
  • Make any immediate repairs that will prevent or reduce damage – and keep your receipts.

 

 

Working with your Insurance Agent and Claims Adjuster During Covid-19

During this pandemic, safety is top of mind and the insurance industry is committed to keeping their customers and employees safe. Most claims are being handled virtually; online apps, video, and technology such as drones are being used to inspect damages. Insurers are poised to effectively respond to their policyholders and help them through the claims process.

 

Insurers have also responded to the Coronavirus with payment relief and refunds. This is a good time to conduct a policy check up to make sure you have the coverages that best serve your situation.

 

 

Fraud

Unfortunately, fraud is prevalent during times of crisis. Don’t be a victim of the weather and later a victim of contractor fraud. Be wary of solicitors offering quick fixes, too-good-to-be-true prices and illegal promises to take care of your deductible. As of September 1, 2019, contractors who offer to waive your deductible are violating the law and could get up to a $2,000 fine and up to six months in jail. If a contractor offers to waive a deductible, report it to the Texas Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-800-621-0508.

 

Here are some tips to help you avoid fraud

  • Ask for detailed estimates on company letterhead with clear contact information.
  • Check online references to gauge customer experiences and to verify the information on the estimates.
  • Beware of those who only have out-of-town phone numbers, references or who solicit door to door.
  • Pay only a small deposit and make incremental payments until the job is done to your satisfaction.
  • Don’t sign your insurance claims payment over to the contractor.

 

 

Financial Security

This pandemic has tested the resolve and financial stability of many businesses, and insurers stand ready to pay covered claims after severe weather events impacting Texans such as hail, rain, and wind. Solvency and financial strength are critical to being there for policyholders when they need help to recover from the unexpected. Learn about your coverage options by calling your agent or carrier today.

 

 

The National Weather Service, https://www.fema.gov/mobile-app is a great resource to stay tuned into breaking news and weather updates.

What to do After A Loss is an ICT web page offering you infographics, resources covering Texas’ costliest storms and more information.

For more information about preparing for responding to storms, or other insurance-related topics, contact Camille Garcia, Director of Communications & Public Affairs at 512-713-4262 or find more resources at ICT Hurricane Central.
 

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