State Insurers Settle Hurricane Ike Lawsuits

Texas’ two insurers of last resort have agreed to settle cases brought by state regulators over delayed payments and disputes over damaged roofs after Hurricane Ike in 2008.

According to court documents, the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association and Texas Fire Access to Insurance Requirements Plan have settled two lawsuits without admitting any violations of state regulations. Under the settlement with the Texas Department of Insurance, both associations agree to provide training for adjusters and claims examiners. The agencies also promised to upgrade their technology to improve tracking of claims and comply with prompt payment deadlines.

Hundreds of policy holders sued Texas Windstorm Insurance Association after Hurricane Ike. The association’s claims-handling practices prompted several state investigations. Policy holders alleged the windstorm insurers failed to meet deadlines required by law, such as sending policy holders written notices of acceptance or rejection within 15 days of receiving the information need to assess a claim.

Both insurers agreed to give premium credits of 18 percent as interest on claims that weren’t paid within deadlines set out in the state’s insurance code. The agencies also agreed to treat roof shingles unsealed by hurricane winds as damaged. Previously, TWIA and FAIR had not considered loose shingles damaged in assessing claims.

If you have not received full coverage for roof damage, please contact the Dallas roof damage attorneys of Smith Kendall, PLLC, by calling 214-361-6124.