The Harvey Rumor: Once More Into the Breach . . .

For heaven’s sake, even Snopes.com is taking on the rumor that Harvey claims have to be filed by Friday:

Texas House Bill 1774 does indeed introduce changes to the way property damage insurance claims are dealt with in the state, but only in the event of a litigated dispute over a claim. Most insurance claims are settled out of court, and so the potential benefit in filing a claim before 1 September 2017 (which is itself marginal) will likely not apply in most cases.

The real benefit would be in filing a lawsuit before 1 September, but for obvious practical reasons, it is extremely unlikely that someone whose home has been destroyed or extensively damaged days earlier, would be in a position to do this.

The law was signed by Governor Greg Abbott on 26 May 2017.

Meanwhile, the National Flood Insurance Program, which will be handling the bulk of claims from Hurricane Harvey, makes these points:

  • Media reports warning of reduced liabilities for insurance companies, late payment penalties, and immediate timelines for filing claims do not pertain to NFIP claims.
  • ┬áNational Flood Insurance Policy (NFIP) claims are not subject to state laws. As such, the House Bill 1774 passed in Texas does not affect flood insurance policies or claims from the National Flood Insurance Program
  • NFIP policyholders who have experienced flood damage should file their insurance claims as soon as possible to begin their recovery process, but there is no benefit or penalty in filing before or after September 1, 2017.
  • Visit www.fema.gov/nfip to learn more about the National Flood Insurance Program and how to file your Flood Insurance claim.

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