Federal Aid, State Insurance Department Help Still Available for Ike Recovery

December 8, 2009

Galveston County residents needing home repair assistance resulting from 2008’s Hurricane Ike can get federal help through a nearly $100 million grant program.

In addition, the Texas Department of Insurance reports that it remains available to assist consumers with unresolved Hurricane Ike claims and other insurance issues. The department says insurers settled most claims promptly, but some Texans have experienced problems with the claims process, including delays in claims handling, unsatisfactory settlement offers, and claim denials.

Hurricane Ike struck the Texas coast near Galveston on Sept. 13, 2008. The storm caused an estimated $13 billion in losses and resulted in approximately 815,000 insurance claims.

The Galveston County Housing Assistance Program expects to use about $15 million of the federal Housing and Urban Development funds for administrative costs. Coordinator James Wilson says more than 200 people have applied through the Recovery for Ike Survivors Enterprise, created by the state and managed by Lutheran Social Services.

Catholic Charities is also coordinating applications. Wilson says for now Galveston County is only taking applications through those two groups for repairs from the September 2008 hurricane.

Applications will be accepted from four outreach centers, expected to open in the next week or so, in Bacliff, Crystal Beach,Texas City and the county courthouse.

Through November, TDI has assisted more than 5,800 Texans with Hurricane Ike-related claims issues and has helped return $39.1 million to consumers through complaint resolution efforts.

In fiscal year 2009 (September 2008 to August 2009), TDI assisted more than 28,000 consumers with insurance issues and helped consumers receive an additional $74 million in claims payments and refunds.




Sources: Associated Press, Texas Department of Insurance

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