By: Rebecca Moore
As the remnants of Hurricane Harvey are working their way out of our two great states, Lugenbuhl’s team of attorneys is here to assist in any way needed. We thought it would be helpful to take a fresh look at the claim adjusting standards and regulations in both Louisiana and Texas, including new bulletins and advisories that have been issued in Harvey’s wake. Below are links to relevant statues and regulations. Please note that each state may issue further bulletins or advisories modifying these standards.
Statutes and Regulations by State
Texas-specific Information for Insurers
The Texas Department of Insurance (“TDI”) has issued the following bulletins pertaining to Hurricane Harvey on August 26, 2017, many of which apply to property and casualty insurers and can be accessed by clicking each bulletin number linked in the list below.
Highlights of the TDI Catastrophe Bulletins include:
- Recommending Building and Repair Contractors – this serves as a reminder to insurers that homeowners are entitled to have their property repaired by a contractor of their choice.
- Claims Adjusters and Adjusting – this reminds insurers that they are authorized to use non-resident and emergency adjusters; that roofing contractors are prohibited from adjusting claims; and that public adjusters must be licensed in Texas.
- Rating and Underwriting – opines that it is inappropriate for insurers to re-rate, cancel, non-renew, or refuse to provide coverage due solely to a policyholder's status as a victim or evacuee of Hurricane Harvey.
- Denial of Wind Losses – encourages insurers who deny coverage for wind losses to inform policyholders of potential coverage under the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA) if the loss occurred in the TWIA coverage area.
- Vacancy Provisions – encourages insurers to provide relief to those residents and policyholders who have been temporarily displaced, including the suspension of any vacancy provision in the policy, to allow continuing insurance coverage.
TDI Catastrophe Bulletins
The following is a list of the TDI’s bulletins pertaining to Hurricane Harvey, each issued on August 26, 2017. A link to the main bulletins home page is available here.
- B-0009-17, Hurricane Harvey – Premium Payments Grace Period (Property and Casualty)
- B-0017-17, Hurricane Harvey – Recommending Building and Repair Contractors (Property and Casualty)
- B-0010-17, Hurricane Harvey – Medical Equipment and Services (Life and Health)
- B-0011-17, Hurricane Harvey – Claims Adjusting and Adjusters (Financial)
- B-0012-17, Hurricane Harvey – Preauthorized Health Care, Referrals, Notification of Hospital Admissions, and Medical Necessity Reviews (Life and Health)
- B-0013-17, Hurricane Harvey – Commercial Automobile Insurance (Property and Casualty)
- B-0014-17, Hurricane Harvey – Prescription Medication Coverages (Life and Health)
- B-0015-17, Hurricane Harvey – Property and Casualty Rating and Underwriting (Property and Casualty)
- B-0016-17, Hurricane Harvey – Credit Scoring and Credit Information (Property and Casualty)
- B-0018-17, Hurricane Harvey – Denial of Wind Losses (Property and Casualty)
- B-0019-17, Hurricane Harvey – Vacancy Provisions (Property and Casualty)
Based in Lugenbuhl’s Houston office, Rebecca focuses on insurance litigation involving coverage issues and bad faith claims in both state and federal court. More information about her background and experience is available on her profile. Visit our Insurance practice section to learn more about our firm’s services.
The content of this article is not intended to serve as an exhaustive review of the laws, statutes or issues related to insurance claims, and it is not intended to provide legal advice. The opinions expressed through this article may not reflect the opinions of the firm, individual attorneys or clients.