In the News: Advice on Insurance Claims After the Storm

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Texas Watch Executive Director Ware Wendell was profiled in the Wall Street Journal along with other leading consumer activists discussing insurance claims after the winter storm. The most important thing for homeowners to do right now is to document everything. The Wall Street Journal quotes Ware Wendell, "Take photos. Save emails with the insurance agent. Save receipts. Report your claim promptly.”

Some policies might cover damages related to inability to stay in the home because of damage. In this case, homeowners should save all receipts related to:

According to the Wall Street Journal, "The full damage from frozen pipes won’t show up until temperatures warm. Frozen water will melt and gush out of newly formed cracks, leading to potentially extensive water damage in a home."

Consumer advocates are worried about homeowner's insurance policies complicating coverage of roof repairs. The Journal quotes Amy Bach, Executive Director for United Policyholders, saying, "What should be straightforward—'fix my roof’—is often an adversarial war between roofing pros and insurance adjusters, with consumers caught in the middle." 

Additional concerns policyholders should be wary of, according to the Journal and the trade group Insurance Information Institute, are "actual cash-value" policies versus "replacement cost" coverage" policies. The Journal reports, "Disputes also can arise because consumers have “actual cash-value” policies that take depreciation into consideration in making payouts. That is in contrast to “replacement cost” coverage, which Insurance Information Institute said is provided by most standard homeowners-insurance policies. Replacement cost insurance is more expensive." 

Click here to read the full article, "Filing a Insurance Claim for Texas Storm Damage? Payouts Hinge on Policy Details," by Leslie Scism of the Wall Street Journal.  

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