March 21 2018

Scammers using robo-calls about insurance to fleece Hurricane Harvey survivors

March 21 2018, 12:29 | Frederick Owens

Scammers using robo-calls about insurance to fleece Hurricane Harvey survivors

Scammers using robo-calls about insurance to fleece Hurricane Harvey survivors

The law applies to commercial and residential policies - which do not typically include flood insurance - but exempts National Flood Insurance claims and the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association.

Twelve years ago, Hurricane Katrina slammed into Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, causing $35 billion in flood damage alone. That means weeks after Congress comes back from its August recess, lawmakers will have to decide the program's fate.

"If it is safe to return to your property and inspect damage, file written notice of your claim with your insurance company before September 1st to try to preserve at least some of your legal rights". It has since been downgraded to a tropical storm, but more rain is expected to fall on the fourth-largest United States city.

"Given the magnitude of Harvey flooding, reinsurers providing the NFIP with flood reinsurance protection (26% of NFIP losses between $4 billion and $8 billion) could suffer a total loss".

"Flooding is the worst type of damage that could happen to your home aside from complete devastation from a tornado", Wiseman said. "These people are in a situation that no one wants to find themselves in". "People are calling in to ask about flood, get insurance quotes for flood".

Industry groups have been advocating for development of a private market for flood insurance in a move to increase competition and options in the sector. "We have FEMA people in the shelters and talking to people one on one saying, 'Here's what's available to you, '" said Jann Tracey with FEMA. According to FEMA, more than 20 percent of claims are paid out to people who don't live in high-risk flood zones, and the percentage of such payouts would be higher if more homeowners had flood insurance.

Auto insurers generally won't sell new coverage if your area is under a storm watch. Some flood maps could be outdated as new construction develops in an area.

However, the event is expected to result in a meaningful loss for the NFIP, despite many homes in the counties impacted by Harvey not having flood insurance.

Steinkamp did caution however, that flood insurance costs will likely rise because of hurricane Harvey.

He said the fact that we're in the midst of hurricane season doesn't have an impact on prices, neither does Harvey.

Flood insurance policies are purchased through licensed agents, such as Randolph, who has offices in Santa Maria and Orcutt. Unfortunately, the flood insurance program teaches the exact opposite lesson, selling subsidized insurance whose premiums do not come close to covering the risks home and business owners in flood prone areas face.

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