Liberty County family shares warning after insurance denied their flood claim

Nick Natario Image
Friday, May 31, 2024
Liberty County family's warning to others after flood claim was denied
A Liberty County family said they received a denial letter after they flooded and learned their flood insurance policy wasn't properly marked.

CLEVELAND, Texas (KTRK) -- Instead of a check, a Liberty County family said they received a denial letter after they flooded.

As if throwing your items out and ripping apart your home wasn't enough, the hard part is finding out that the assistance you thought was coming isn't.

"I have no idea," Daleena Pinkard said. "I mean, you can't live like that. We have mold that's growing in the ceiling in there."

Pinkard's home in Cleveland flooded at the beginning of May - this was the second time in nearly seven years.

She said her agent was aware, but her policy was marked "no prior loss." Because of this, the insurance company denied her claim.

"I just feel like anybody who has flood insurance and has flooded with any other floods needs to make sure that that's on there," Pinkard said.

ABC13 reached out to Pinkard's agent and insurance company multiple times but has not heard back.

Texas Watch is an advocacy group that focuses on insurance companies. It says if you get flood insurance, do research on the company or agent.

If you pick an agent, make sure they're accredited and not affiliated with a provider. You also want to pull a report on your home.

You can also compare the proposed coverage with others using a comparison tool.

If you're denied, communicate with the company.

"You want to go back and retrace your steps very carefully to see if they've made a mistake in denying that coverage," Texas Watch Executive Director Ware Wendell explained.

Advocates said they've seen issues not just with flood claims. Before something happens to your property, they say to make sure you know what's covered.

"They're cutting costs. They're not passing along any of those savings to us as consumers because we see that our premiums are going up and up and up," Wendell said.

If there's an issue, advocates said you could go to court, and Pinkard is considering doing just that.

"I reached out to everybody. Y'all are the only ones who answered back," Pinkard said. "I tried to get any of everybody that I could. Somebody needs to know this."

This is a warning just days ahead of the hurricane season that she hopes will help other families so they aren't denied the assistance they need.

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