Insurance companies denying coverage ahead of hurricane season, homeowners say

Lileana Pearson Image
Wednesday, May 1, 2024
Insurance companies denying coverage ahead of hurricane season
Some Houston-area homeowners are searching for new insurance, saying Progressive refused to renew their policy ahead of hurricane season.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- ABC13 IT specialist Jeff Hooge and his wife are on the hunt for new home insurers after getting a letter from Progressive in the mail on Monday

"They are canceling our insurance after our policy expires, and they won't renew it because we are in a hurricane zone," Hooge said.

Hooge said he's spent years paying into an insurance policy to be prepared for an emergency and feels cheated to have that taken away.

"It's just frustrating. You'd think the insurance companies are there to help you out when you're in need, but then they cancel and don't want to pay out," Hooge said.

According to insurance adjuster Art Jansen, insurers canceling policies in high-risk areas is legal and not uncommon.

"People are spending more money and probably getting less coverage and higher deductibles right now," Jansen said.

Jansen said as the cost to fix and rebuild homes goes up, some insurance companies are hiding coverage clauses in the fine print while others are downright refusing service.

"Unfortunately, a lot of people don't understand what they have coverage for until they go through an event," Jansen said.

Now is the time to get on the phone with your insurance advisor or company to comb through the fine print and make sure the coverage you think you have is what you're paying for. Also, document what you own in case you need to file a claim.

"You can do a video. Why not take a video of your house that shows what you have, the clothing that you have, maybe the collectibles you have, things outside the norm. But the better you can be prepared and the information you can give to your insurance company, the better success you'll have with a claim," Jansen said.

Your policy needs to be active for 30 days before you can use it. Hooge said he's now scrambling to be covered before it's too late.

"June 29, I believe, is the last date on it. So we have a little bit of time," Hooge said.

If your insurance doesn't want to provide you with flood or wind storm insurance, Jansen says to check out the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association. If something happens and you're not insured, you can reach out to FEMA or the Red Cross for help.

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