Filing an Insurance Claim for Texas Storm Damage? Payouts Hinge on Policy Details

When the snow and ice melt, many Texans will file insurance claims for the damage. Some will resent that they can’t get anything for a freezer full of spoiled meat, while others will be pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to get money to repair a wrecked car.

The unusual winter storm in the large state gives many insurers an opportunity to test new mobile technologies that have proliferated over the past year to help settle car wreck claims faster, according to insurance industry executives.

But the massive storm will also highlight differences in basic homeowner policies that some consumer activists have lamented more frequently in recent years. Consumer activists say inequality could leave homeowners underinsured if they believed they were covered.

Many homeowners will learn that guidelines are far from standardized across the industry, said Daniel Schwarcz, a professor at the University of Minnesota Law School.

The guidelines are more diverse than a decade or two ago, he said. While some differences could work to the benefit of homeowners, a significant majority could hurt them. For example, some guidelines cover the risk of a structure collapsing due to the weight of ice or snow while others don’t, he said. Some may cover food spoilage caused by the power outage, but others may not.

Comments are closed.