Print Posted By on 08/30/2017 in Features

Texas Insurance Dept. encourages leniency for insureds in Harvey's wake TDI recommends suspending any vacancy provisions in policies, practicing good faith in handling claims Aug 29, 2017 | By Christine G. Barlow, CPCU, Rosalie L. Donlon

Texas Insurance Dept. encourages leniency for insureds in Harvey's wake TDI recommends suspending any vacancy provisions in policies, practicing good faith in handling claims Aug 29, 2017 | By Christine G. Barlow, CPCU, Rosalie L. Donlon

The Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) issued several bulletins in the last several days encouraging insurers to be lenient with their insureds.

The TDI recommends suspending any vacancy provisions in policies as people have been displaced temporarily. The suspension is recommended only if the insured is temporarily displaced due to the storm, and has not moved permanently prior to the storm.

According to the Insurance Council of Texas, evacuations of thousands of residents are continuing to occur along a 200-mile stretch from La Grange to Beaumont. 

If claims are denied due to wind losses, carriers are advised to notify policyholders of possible coverage under the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA) if the loss occurred in a TWIA area.

Repair companies


Carriers and adjusters are reminded that insureds are allowed to use the repair company of their choice and that claims should be handled in good faith. Also, carriers are allowed to grant exceptions to rates, rating classifications and underwriting rules for applicants impacted by an extraordinary event such as a hurricane. Carriers are encouraged to accept verbal, instead of written requests from insureds.

TDI considers it inappropriate for carriers to re-rate, cancel, non-renew or refuse to provide coverage solely based on the impact of Hurricane Harvey on an insured.

Commercial vehicles used in relief efforts should not be re-rated or re-classed, canceled or non-renewed based on use in those relief efforts.

Related: The ‘Harvey List’: Top 10 homeowners, commercial insurers in Texas

Nonresident & emergency adjusters authorized


TDI allows the authorization of nonresident and emergency adjusters to handle claims. Bulletin #B-0011-17 is extensive in its reminders of what adjusters can and cannot do; licensed adjusters cannot assess roofs if they are also a roofing contractor or provides roofing products.

Related: Staying safe: A Hurricane Harvey survival guide for claim adjusters

Public adjusters must be licensed by the department and are not allowed to solicit clients or participate directly or indirectly in the reconstruction, repair or restoration of damaged property. The bulletins issued by TDI are listed below and more information can be found on the department website:

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