The Texas Department of Insurance reported that it deployed staff to all Texas disaster recovery centers (DRCs) to assist Hurricane Katrina evacuees with their insurance questions and claims, including workers’ compensation claims.
The Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) and the Texas Governor’s Office – Division of Emergency Management (DEM) have established Texas DRCs to assist the more than 200,000 Hurricane Katrina evacuees who are now located in shelters, hotels and homes all across Texas. DRCs are located at the Austin Convention Center, in Beaumont at the First Baptist Church, at the Dallas Convention Center, at Fort Worth’s Amon Carter Exhibit Hall, at Houston’s Reliant Center and at Kelly Air Force Base in San Antonio.
TDI staff will help consumers obtain prompt responses from the insurance industry regarding their insurance claims and questions. The quicker evacuees can talk with their carriers, the sooner the evacuees may be able to get money for living expenses, file claims, or receive other assistance that will help them rebuild their lives. TDI is committing resources to provide assistance to neighboring states for several months.
Workers’ Compensation Assistance Available
If a Hurricane Katrina evacuee is an injured worker and was being paid workers’ compensation benefits on the date of Hurricane Katrina (8/29/05), TDI can help direct their workers’ compensation benefit check to where they are now. Injured workers should call TDI’s Division of Workers’ Compensation at (800) 372-7713. Division staff will forward information to the appropriate authorities of the State or insurance carrier for further handling and communication with the injured worker.
To obtain electronic access to the list of insurance carriers that have set up disaster hot lines to help their policyholders, consumers may visit the TDI Hurricane Katrina Assistance Web page at: http://www.tdi.state.tx.us/consumer/katrina.html.
State Government Insurance Help Lines
* Texas Department of Insurance Consumer Help Line: 800-252-3439
* Alabama Department of Insurance Consumer Help Line: 800-433-3966 | 334-241-4141 (outside Alabama)
* Louisiana Department of Insurance Consumer Help Line: 800-259-5300
* Mississippi Department of Insurance Consumer Help Line: 866-856-1982
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