Clients advised to get Harvey claims in before Friday

Clients advised to get Harvey claims in before Friday

Clients advised to get Harvey claims in before Friday Victims of Hurricane and Tropical Storm Harvey are being urged to file written notice of insurance claims before Friday.

That’s the day a new Texas law takes effect that will make it more difficult to sue insurers, attorneys and a consumer watchdog group warn.

Celebrate excellence in insurance. Nominate a worthy colleague for the Insurance Business Awards!

“If it is safe to return to your property and inspect damage, file written notice of your claim with your insurance company before September 01 to try to preserve at least some of your legal rights,” Ware Wendell, executive director of Texas Watch, told the Houston Chronicle.

But tort-reform advocates say that plaintiffs’ attorneys are overstating the urgency of the issue.

“To be out there at this time scaring people about their coverage when we are in a life-and-death situation, it’s not appropriate and it’s not truthful,” Texans for Lawsuit Reform spokesperson Lucy Nashed told the Chronicle.

Learn more about flood insurance claims at the Future of Flood Summit being held in Miami, Florida on November 16. Click here for more details and to register.

Supporters of the law say it will put a kibosh on “abusive and unnecessary” lawsuits, the Chronicle reported. But opponents claim it could potentially harm millions of property owners by restricting their access to the courts.

Related stories:
Allstate, Progressive share slump after Harvey
Allstate, Farmers and State Farm preparing for influx of claims following Hurricane Harvey

  • Michael 8/29/2017 9:33:48 AM
    • The requirement for a written pre-lawsuit notice (not pre-claim notice) to the insurance company ensures the company is aware of its policyholder’s complaint and has had an opportunity to adequately address that complaint before being sued. It is a part of existing Texas law and does not disadvantage policyholders.

    Furthermore, the new law will not apply to most claims or lawsuits arising from Harvey, because most of the policyholders’ claims will be for damage caused by flooding. These claims will be made under the federal flood insurance program and governed by federal law.

    Similarly, the new law will not apply to lawsuits pursued against the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA), which is subject to an entirely different statute governing post-disaster lawsuits. TWIA provides insurance for many people affected by Harvey in our coastal counties.

    The law that will become effective on September 1, 2017, is designed to do two important things:
    1. Discourage the feeding frenzy by lawyers and contractors following natural events occurring in Texas over the past several years. These unscrupulous actors have taken advantage of thousands of hard-working Texans over the past several years.
    2. Encourage out-of-state insurance adjusters to come work in Texas following a massive disaster like Harvey. In the following days and weeks, it will be critically important for out-of-state adjusters to work in Texas to ensure that insurance claims are evaluated and paid in a timely manner.

    In sum, the new law does not affect the claims process. Instead, it affects only the lawsuits that sometimes follow the claims process. Furthermore, it does not create a new deadline for action by policyholders.
    -Copied from tort reform com press release.
    Post a reply
  • Donna Q. 8/30/2017 2:35:29 AM
    Michael... Thank you for your reply! That is interesting information.
    Post a reply
  • 8/30/2017 7:26:33 PM
    What exactly is the perspective you are commenting from, Michael?
    What is your dog in the hunt, so to speak?
    Post a reply