Few Complaints from Texas 2008 Hurricane Claims

July 8, 2009

The Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) reported it has received a total of 1,201 justified complaints from the nearly 900,000 claims that originated from Hurricanes Ike and Dolly in 2008. The complaints represent less than one quarter of one percent of consumers who reported problems with their insurance claims, according to the Insurance Council of Texas.

Hurricane Dolly made landfall at South Padre Island on July 23, 2008. The majority of Dolly’s damage consisted of commercial property on the island and a combination of wind and flood damage to homes further inland. Total insured losses for Hurricane Dolly’s 50,000 claims were estimated at $500 million.

Hurricane Ike struck Galveston on Sept. 13, 2008, with 110 mph winds and a storm surge on Bolivar Peninsula of 20 feet. Entire communities on the peninsula were washed away. Seventy five percent of the homes and businesses in Galveston were flooded. At least 33 Texas counties reported losses. The total number of claims from Hurricane Ike topped 800,000 with insured losses in excess of $10 billion.

Between 95 and 100 percent of all of Hurricane Ike’s claims have been settled.

Dorothy Langley, chair of the Insurance Council of Texas, said she is very proud at how well the insurance industry handled both storms.

“There will always be complaints arising from any storm damage. When you are dealing with a lot of money in a catastrophic situation, it can be difficult for all of the parties to be completely satisfied with the claim settlement,” said Langley. “But these low numbers on complaints coming from both Ike and Dolly are remarkable considering the volume and severity of the claims. It shows the industry has worked hard and been successful in putting their policyholders back on their feet in difficult circumstances.”

The Texas Department of Insurance said delays, unsatisfactory settlement offers and denial of claims were the main reasons for complaints.

Source: The Insurance Council of Texas, www.insurancecouncil.org

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