Homeowners with Ike insurance problems

December 4, 2008 5:07:00 PM PST
There are still frustrations for homeowners on the road to recovery from Hurricane Ike.[SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

Nearly three months after the storm hit, there are still thousands of people here in southeast Texas waiting on insurance companies to come through with money for repairs.

Pearland resident Miguel Ibarra still has a lot of work to do after Ike. His home suffered massive damage and yet he says his insurance company is dragging its feet.

Fernando Ibarra has watched his father's struggles.

"You pay them, but they don't pay us back when we need it," he said. "That's not fair."

State Farm who is the family's insurer assessed the damage at $44,000. The Ibarra's say they have only received $17,000 of that. Mr. Ibarra says he has to find ways to pay for the rest of the damage.

"We were having problems even before the hurricane and now we are having to pay everything out of our pocket," Fernando told us.

The Ibarra's may not be alone. Of the more than half a million claims filed in Texas since the storm, some 2,100 people have complained to the state about the insurance companies. The most common complaint is that the money is coming in slow or that the amount is simply not enough.

Ibarra tells us he expects the damage to his home to be well above $60,000.

"We got two rooms with nothing in them, no rugs, no roof," Fernando said.

A spokesperson for State Farm said he could not comment on individual cases, but said a number of outside forces could have affected delays. Kevin David of State Farm Insurance told us, "Our goal is to move as quickly as possible." That is something Ibarra says he has yet to see.

"We need that money, it is only fair that they pay us, " Fernando said.

The state says the number of complaints is not unusual with a storm as large as Hurricane Ike. They advise you to call the Texas Department of Insurance complaint line if you are having trouble at 1-800-252-3439.

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