Evacuees who have come to Texas should contact their insurance companies as soon as possible, according to the Insurance Council of Texas. Adjusters representing insurers have begun the process of entering the areas hardest hit by Hurricane Katrina and they need to know where they can find insured homeowners and automobile owners.
“The victims of Katrina with homeowners insurance have several benefits awaiting them including additional living expenses and delayed payments on current insurance policies,” said Mark Hanna, a spokesman for the ICT. “The sooner insurers can find their policyholders and locate their damaged property, the quicker homeowners can be properly compensated and put their lives back together.”
Several Web sites feature the phone numbers of every insurance company insuring homes and autos in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. They include: http://www.iii.org/media/updates/press.743044/ and http://www.tdi.state.tx.us/consumer/kcatphone.html.
Many of Hurricane Katrina’s losses are due to flooding or rising waters, which is covered by flood insurance policies that are offered by the National Flood Insurance Program. To file a flood claim, contact the NFIP at (800) 621-3362. Individuals with comprehensive coverage on their vehicles that were damaged by floodwaters can file a claim with their insurance agent or company.
The state insurance departments of Mississippi and Alabama have each imposed a 60-day moratorium for storm victims in paying on existing insurance policies including auto, homeowner, life and health policies. The insurance commissioner of Louisiana is expected to sign a similar moratorium for storm victims in Louisiana. The moratorium, starting on the day that Katrina hit, will insure that the insurance policies of every storm victim stay in effect and avoid cancellation.
Every major insurance company has catastrophic teams in each affected area searching for homeowners, vehicle owners and evaluating storm losses. Risk Management Solutions says the insured losses from Hurricane Katrina could hit $60 billion, making it by far the costliest weather catastrophe in U.S. history
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