Check your coverage – Houston storm victims should contact carrier, broker says

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Check your coverage – Houston storm victims should contact carrier, broker says


Check your insurance coverage – Houston storm victims should contact cell phone provider, broker says | Insurance business America

Severe storms in the region leave four people dead and nearly a million homes and businesses without power

Disaster and flood

By Ryan Smith

Four people died and nearly a million homes and businesses were without power Friday after severe thunderstorms struck the Houston area and parts of Louisiana.

According to an Associated Press report, the storms that hit the area Thursday included hurricane-force winds that toppled trees and transmission towers and blew out windows from downtown buildings.

The storms brought the city to a virtual standstill, forcing school closures for more than 400,000 students and city crews struggling to clear fallen trees and restore power. City officials urged Houston residents not to go to work Friday unless they are considered essential workers. Residents were also urged to stay off streets, many of which are flooded, the AP reported.

Houston Mayor John Whitmire said during a briefing Thursday evening that wind speeds reached 100 miles per hour during the storm and some tornadoes had been spotted. He said the strong winds were reminiscent of Hurricane Ike, which hit the area in 2008.

Charlene Okenkpu, customer service manager and licensed insurance agent at TGS Insurance Agency in Houston, told Insurance Business that the agency has been unusually busy since it opened at 8 a.m. Friday with customers asking for help with insurance questions.

Okenkpu advised his customers to check their coverages before doing anything else.

“You should contact your broker or carrier directly before filing to find out about the claim and to ensure that the damage exceeds your deductible,” she said.

Okenkpu said the TGS office successfully weathered the storm.

“We’re doing fine. “We were stuck in the building yesterday until the tornadoes passed,” she said. “Many of us are still without power. Some of us couldn’t get in today because of trees on the street.”

Whitmer said during Thursday’s briefing that four people died during the storm. At least two deaths were caused by falling trees, and another occurred when strong winds knocked over a crane, the AP reported.

The storms weren’t over yet on Friday. The AP reported that isolated, severe thunderstorms with tornadoes, strong winds and hail could continue in the Gulf Coast states. Flood watches and warnings were still in effect for Houston and areas to the east as of Friday.

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2024-05-17 16:20:02

www.insurancebusinessmag.com