Hurricane Damage Claims
Hurricane Damage Insurance Claims

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Hurricane Damage Insurance Claims in Texas

Texas is one of the leading states for hurricane damage insurance claimsAccording to FEMA, a hurricane is a type of tropical cyclone or severe tropical storm that forms in the southern Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, or the eastern Pacific Ocean. A typical cyclone is accompanied by thunderstorms and lightning, and in the Northern Hemisphere, a counterclockwise circulation of winds near the earth’s surface can develop. All Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coastal areas are subject to hurricanes causing major water and wind damage.

Parts of the southwestern United States and the Pacific Coast also experience heavy rains and floods each year from hurricanes spawned off the coast of Mexico. The Atlantic hurricane season lasts from June to November, with the peak season occurring from mid-August to late October, with storms passing through the Gulf and affecting Texas. The Eastern Pacific hurricane season begins May 15th and ends November 30th.

Hurricanes can cause catastrophic damage to coastlines and up to several hundred miles inland. Hurricanes can produce winds exceeding 155 miles per hour, as well as, tornadoes and microbursts. Additionally, hurricanes can create storm surges along the coast, and can cause extensive damage resulting from heavy rainfall. Floods and flying debris propelled by excessive winds are often the deadly and destructive results of these weather events. Slow moving hurricanes traveling into mountainous regions tend to produce especially heavy rain. Excessive rain can trigger landslides or mud slides, and flash flooding. Between 1970 and 1999, more people lost their lives from freshwater inland flooding associated with tropical cyclones than from any other weather hazard related to such storm damage.

SAFFIR-SIMPSON HURRICANE WIND SCALE SUMMARY

SCALE
NUMBER
(CATEGORY)
SUSTAINED
WINDS
(MPH)
DAMAGE SUSTAINED
1 74 to 95
  • Dangerous winds will produce some damage
  • Minor damage to exterior of homes
  • Toppled tree branches, uprooting of smaller trees
  • Extensive damage to power lines, power outages
2 96 to 110
  • Extremely dangerous and will cause extensive wind damage
  • Major damage to exterior of homes
  • Uprooting of small trees which can result in blocked roads
  • Guaranteed power outages for long periods of time – days to weeks
3 111 to 129
  • Devastating damage will occur
  • Extensive damage to exterior of homes
  • Many trees uprooted and many roads blocked
  • Extremely limited availability of water and electricity
4 130 to 156
  • Catastrophic damage will occur
  • Loss of roof structure and/or some exterior walls
  • Most trees uprooted and most power lines down
  • Isolated residences due to debris pile up
  • Power outages lasting for weeks to months
5 157 and higher
  • Catastrophic damage will occur
  • A high percentage of homes will be completely destroyed
  • Fallen trees and power lines isolate residential areas
  • Power outages lasting for weeks to months
  • Most areas will be uninhabitable

When a policyholder is dealing with a Texas hurricane insurance claim, it is imperative to conduct a proper investigation.  Many insurance policies have special deductibles relating to hurricane wind damage claims.  The nature of the structural damage will play a role in determining how the claim is covered.

For example: if there was a surge, and water flooded the property, any resulting damage would not be covered under a standard policy, but rather a flood policy.  Unfortunately, property owners are left trying to figure out what damage was caused by wind, and what was caused by flood. Sometimes the insurance companies in Texas will point to the coverage they did not supply and insist that the damage was caused by whatever that policy covers. Don’t get left homeless and wet, stuck between two finger-pointing companies – let an expert help sort through the debris and get to the bottom of things.

Another issue to consider when investigating the damage is the “wind driven rain entering the structure vs. a wind created opening” argument.  This issue comes into play frequently when dealing with hurricane insurance claims when leaks are discovered inside the structure. Other unfortunate outcomes following Hurricane damage events can include: looting, theft and vandalism to residential and commercial properties.

Many times, the insurance company adjuster doesn’t perform a thorough inspection of the property, and will intentionally overlook very important clues that could be used to evaluate the storm damage. When a property owner hires a certified public adjuster to help resolve these issues they can rest assured that their own best interests are protected.

Let The Disaster Advocates help you “Claim What’s Yours” after a hurricane damages your property. Please contact TDA Public Adjusters to set up your No Cost Consultation.

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