Texans seek disaster relief to address rain damages

Storms that caused flooding and property damage in Texas have led thousands of Texans to pursue federal aid, according to Insurance Journal. 

"The Federal Emergency Management Agency announced June 20 that more than 17,500 individuals have registered so far for assistance," explains the Journal. "A federal disaster declaration was updated on June 17 to cover 30 Texas counties. FEMA says nearly $29 million has been approved for claims linked to recovery since severe weather began May 4."

This development in Texas comes as the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center released a study indicating that when homeowners feel uncertain about the potential assistance of the federal government, they're more inclined to purchase additional homeowners insurance. 

"Not only did the study find more significant moral hazard effects with larger assistance grants, but where assistance grants were the smallest — in the bottom quartile of the distribution — individuals actually purchased more insurance than they would have with no assistance," explains R Street. "The researchers speculate this effect could result from property owners learning that the aid would be insufficient to cover their costs."

One of the risks involved with disaster relief in the form of homeowners insurance settlements and federal relief aid is that when damages are disputed, many homeowners may take their cases to court. In New Jersey following Superstorm Sandy, the courts were inundated with claims over insufficient coverage. Ultimately, the State of New Jersey decided to issue single-page overviews of homeowners insurance policies in an effort to improve literacy among policyholders who might feel surprised that their needs aren't met by current policies. 

A good way to ensure that your customers are prepared for natural disasters is to update home and property valuations annually and as needed. Especially when homeowners make updates or changes to the structure and features of a home, their current policy may not provide sufficient coverage in the event of a total or partial loss. 

By using one set of estimator tools to produce fast, accurate replacement costs for any type and any size residential property—from older, smaller homes to newer, high-value homes and everything in between; for manufactured homes; kit and log homes; condos or co-ops—insurance professionals can save time, which can be better spent growing their customer base and educating current customers about the scope and limitations of their current policies. 

The risk of natural disasters will never go away, which is why homeowners insurance helps protect individuals' biggest investments. Contact e2Value today to learn more about our suite of solutions for professionals in the insurance industry. We can help ascertain replacement values for individual homes or for every property in your book.