Insurance Agent: Rates May Rise in Valley Post Hurricanes
MCALLEN – The next time you open your mailbox, insurance agents say you might find a notice of a rise in homeowner’s insurance premiums.
We reached out to an expert to find out the impact storms like Harvey or Irma will have on the Rio Grande Valley.
“Insurance is the pooling of people's money together to pay for a catastrophic loss,” said Abraham Padron, an agent with Safeguard Insurance Agency.
Padron said just because Harvey spared the Valley, homeowners could still face a hike in annual insurance premiums.
“Technically, insurance companies look at the state of Texas as a whole,” he said.
Hurricane Irma will also impact premiums in Texas. Padron said companies which back major insurance providers look at the country as a whole in deciding its rates.
“The problem that we have is we are considered a coastal area,” he said. “Rates may tend to fluctuate based on some of these storms.”
Padron said costs are also expected to rise after claim adjusters traveled out of the Valley to impact areas.
“It's going to create a need for more adjusters, so if we have a claim here in the Rio Grande Valley, in some cases it may take a little longer to get to you,” Padron said.
He mentioned there is still a 15-working day requirement for companies to respond to customers about a claim.
Gregorio Delgado lives on Sycamore Street in McAllen. We met him when he was checking his mail.
Although his home survived a memorable hailstorm in 2012, it still ended up with water damage.
"It was a bad disaster for this house,” he said.
We asked Delgado about homeowner's insurance.
“My opinion is that many of these companies have grown so much with people's money,” he said.
Delgado is worried less about himself. He said those less fortunate are his concern.
"My message is that they need to take into account the heart. Insurance is not a necessity for people who have to choose between it and feeding their family,” Delgado said.
Padron said it’s unclear how much premiums may rise following the storms. The cost of the storm will be felt by the National Flood Insurance Program for years to come.
FEMA officials said the agency could payout up to $11 billion in claims.
The government insurance program is one of the only ways to protect your property in the case of flooding.
PBS news reported the program already owes $25 billion to the US Treasury even before these costly storms.
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