Hurricane Harvey surpassed all predictions as it broke U.S. records for massive amounts of rainfall. In total, Hurricane Harvey has dumped 51.88 inches of rain, in some parts of Texas, and counting. The hurricane continues to deal destruction everywhere it goes, but as it moves into parts of Louisiana, parts of Texas are beginning to assess the damage. As Texan’s begin to recover, the insurance claims begin closing in.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued a disaster declaration in addition to the federal major disaster declaration issued by President Donald Trump. In total, Texas has mobilized more than 14,000 National Guard troops with 10,000 more helping from neighboring states.
According to Insurance Journal, when a disaster declaration is declared in Texas, Insurance Code §4101.002(b) and §4101.101 allows carriers to immediately use nonresident and emergency adjusters to handle claims. This will help deal with the massive influx of claims, but it certainly won’t solve all the problems numbers like this bring with them.
Insurance Journal reports that Farmers Insurance estimates that 500,000 of their policy holders lie in the path of Hurricane Harvey. As of August 29th, State Farm estimated that it had received roughly 14,600 homeowners and 12,800 auto claims already. That number will only continue to rise as the true impact of this storm is revealed during recovery.
Insurers know to plan for major weather events like Harvey, and this hurricane has been no different. Jim Wucherpfennig, vice president of Property at Travelers, told the Insurance Journal that they began prepping “…about six days before it [Harvey] started that approach we got out the cat playbook and we started to plan for its eventual arrival on to the coast of Texas,”.
The total impact of Hurricane Harvey on both individuals, and businesses is still to be determined. What we do know is that the power of this storm has been more vast than even the most outlandish of predictions, and the impact of this storm will likely follow suit. So far insurers seem to be keeping up with the influx of claims, hopefully thing continue to run smoothly as more claims are filed.