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Last Post 10/22/2010 2:17 PM by  Ray Hall
Storm Surge - Is it flood or wind?
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johnpostava
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09/19/2008 1:27 PM
    The following article says only 20% of residents in Galveston County have flood insurance. How stupid is that! No wonder they now want to call Storm Surge a wind-related event!
    ========================================

    Windstorm association won't cover surge
    By KELLEY SHANNON Associated Press Writer © 2008 The Associated Press
    Sept. 17, 2008, 3:37PM


    AUSTIN — A Texas consumer group took issue with the state-chartered windstorm insurance association Wednesday over its refusal to pay coastal residents for storm surge damage in Hurricane Ike.

    The Texas Windstorm Insurance Association says it only intends to pay Gulf Coast policyholders for wind damage, not water surge damage. Association general manager Jim Oliver said on a conference call with industry representatives: "It will be our intention not to pay surge losses. Period."

    Each claim will be examined on a case-by-case basis, and no one area will be classified as damaged completely by storm surge, he said. Areas farther inland are likely to have more wind damage and less storm surge damage, Oliver added.

    But Alex Winslow, executive director of the consumer group Texas Watch, contends losses from water damage should be covered because there would be no storm surge without the hurricane.

    "Though this is a predictable industry attempt to deny thousands of legitimate storm surge claims, this position is ludicrous. After all, storm surge is a phenomenon peculiar to windstorms, which should be covered by windstorm insurance," Winslow said in a memo about TWIA to state and local officials.

    According to the National Hurricane Center, storm surge "is simply water that is pushed toward the shore by the force of the winds swirling around the storm. This advancing surge combines with the normal tides to create the hurricane storm tide, which can increase the mean water level 15 feet or more."

    Flood insurance must be obtained through the federal flood insurance program, said Sandra Helin, spokeswoman for TWIA and the Southwestern Insurance Information Service. She said less than 20 percent of Galveston County property owners had flood insurance policies.

    Many residents felt they would be protected by the island's 17-foot seawall, but much of the storm surge came from the bay side of the island, she said.

    "We understand that people are desperate to have their losses paid for," Helin said. "Rising water is flood."

    Winslow said storm surge in a hurricane is not the same as other flooding, such as rising water in a creek bed. He said the windstorm association's action in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike "sets a dangerous precedent for future windstorms."

    A total dollar loss estimate for Hurricane Ike has not yet been calculated, though risk models have shown it likely will be in the billions of dollars.

    The Texas Windstorm Insurance Association became the wind damage insurer of last resort for thousands of Texans in 14 counties because private-sector companies largely pulled out of the coastal market following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005.

    The windstorm association has more than 142,000 policies in the six most affected counties: Galveston, Jefferson, Chambers, Brazoria, Harris and Matagorda, Oliver said. There is roughly $42 billion in "exposure," or potential damage claims, in those counties.

    Oliver said he expects that all policy holders in the storm "bull's-eye" counties of Galveston, Jefferson and Chambers will request that their property be examined for damage.

    The association's $100 million base and some of its catastrophic reserve trust fund were used paying damage claims from Hurricane Dolly that hit South Padre Island earlier this summer.

    To cover the anticipated losses from Hurricane Ike, the windstorm association's board decided Wednesday to tap into new layers of backup funds, including the rest of the catastrophic reserve trust fund and some reinsurance. That will give it up to $2.1 billion for claims for now.

    As part of that decision, insurance companies that fund the windstorm association are going to be assessed an additional $430 million overall.

    Some insurance companies balked at the suggestion that the assessment be twice that amount to allow for sufficient cash flow to cover Ike claims. They said more could be assessed in a couple of weeks, if necessary.

    About half of the new $430 million assessment can by recouped by insurance companies through state tax credits. At a certain point, which has not been reached, unlimited assessments on insurance companies can kick in to supplement the fund. Those can be recouped by insurance companies through tax credits, meaning Texas taxpayers would foot the bill.


    On the Net:
    Texas Windstorm Insurance Association at http://www.twia.org/
    Southwestern Insurance Information Service at http://www.siisinfo.org/
    Texas Coalition for Affordable Insurance Solutions at http://www.tcais.org/
    Texas Department of Insurance at http://www.tdi.state.tx.us


    http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl...07367.html


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    sharoncookgarlinski
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    09/19/2008 9:52 PM
    Storm surge is flood. Residents who chose not to purchase Flood insurance used the same convoluded rationale in Louisiana following Hurricane Katrina. Unfortunately it costs all insurance consumers money in the end because the insurers and/or windstorm associations targeted by these claims and lawsuits must bear the burden of defending them. Flood insurance is advertised on TV and other sources. It is readily available and inexpensive considering the risk that is transferred to NFIP in places like Galveston when a policy is purchased. Those who chose not to insure were probably residents who had no mortgage company insisting on Flood coverage. They thereby become self-insured and the after-the-fact attempts to collect for their self-insured losses only make the attorneys wealthy. We can only hope that Texas courts will interpret this issue quickly and correctly.
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    Tom Toll
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    09/20/2008 10:15 AM
    Sharon, there is always a group, or individual trying to make a name for himself/herself and that is what drives this crazy frenzy to call surge, wind. We know it is not wind, but the typical consumer has no idea how to distinguish the coverage language. Your correct about one thing, the leaches who call themselves attorney's for the public welfare are going to make a lot of money from the industry and policyholders taking this issue to court. Wind is wind, an entity, water is water, an entity.
    Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.
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    sbeau4014
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    09/20/2008 10:32 AM
    Here is an article out of the Insurance Journal yesterday. The link to the article is at the bottom

    Texas / South Central News
    Storm Surge Not Covered in Texas Windstorm Association Policies
    By Kelley Shannon
    September 19, 2008

    A Texas consumer group took issue with the state-chartered windstorm insurance association over its refusal to pay coastal residents for storm surge damage in Hurricane Ike.

    The Texas Windstorm Insurance Association says it only intends to pay Gulf Coast policyholders for wind damage, not water surge damage. Association general manager Jim Oliver said on a conference call with industry representatives: "It will be our intention not to pay surge losses. Period."

    Each claim will be examined on a case-by-case basis, and no one area will be classified as damaged completely by storm surge, he said. Areas farther inland are likely to have more wind damage and less storm surge damage, Oliver added.

    But Alex Winslow, executive director of the consumer group Texas Watch, contends losses from water damage should be covered because there would be no storm surge without the hurricane.

    "Though this is a predictable industry attempt to deny thousands of legitimate storm surge claims, this position is ludicrous. After all, storm surge is a phenomenon peculiar to windstorms, which should be covered by windstorm insurance,'' Winslow said in a memo about TWIA to state and local officials.

    According to the National Hurricane Center, storm surge "is simply water that is pushed toward the shore by the force of the winds swirling around the storm. This advancing surge combines with the normal tides to create the hurricane storm tide, which can increase the mean water level 15 feet or more.''

    Flood insurance must be obtained through the federal flood insurance program, said Sandra Helin, spokeswoman for TWIA and the Southwestern Insurance Information Service. She said less than 20 percent of Galveston County property owners had flood insurance policies.

    Many residents felt they would be protected by the island's 17-foot seawall, but much of the storm surge came from the bay side of the island, she said.

    "We understand that people are desperate to have their losses paid for,'' Helin said. "Rising water is flood.''

    Winslow said storm surge in a hurricane is not the same as other flooding, such as rising water in a creek bed. He said the windstorm association's action in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike "sets a dangerous precedent for future windstorms.''

    A total dollar loss estimate for Hurricane Ike has not yet been calculated, though risk models have shown it likely will be in the billions of dollars.

    The Texas Windstorm Insurance Association is the wind damage insurer of last resort for thousands of Texans in 14 counties.

    The windstorm association has more than 142,000 policies in the six most affected counties: Galveston, Jefferson, Chambers, Brazoria, Harris and Matagorda, Oliver said. There is roughly $42 billion in "exposure,'' or potential damage claims, in those counties.

    Oliver said he expects that all policy holders in the storm "bull's-eye'' counties of Galveston, Jefferson and Chambers will request that their property be examined for damage.

    The association's $100 million base and some of its catastrophic reserve trust fund were used paying damage claims from Hurricane Dolly that hit South Padre Island earlier this summer.

    To cover the anticipated losses from Hurricane Ike, the windstorm association's board decided to tap into new layers of backup funds, including the rest of the catastrophic reserve trust fund and some reinsurance. That will give it up to $2.1 billion for claims for now.

    As part of that decision, insurance companies that fund the windstorm association are going to be assessed an additional $430 million overall.

    Some insurance companies balked at the suggestion that the assessment be twice that amount to allow for sufficient cash flow to cover Ike claims. They said more could be assessed in a couple of weeks, if necessary.

    Later in the day, Texas Insurance Commissioner Mike Geeslin wrote a letter to Oliver directing the windstorm association board to meet again Oct. 8 to determine whether any further insurance company assessments are needed.

    About half of the new $430 million assessment can by recouped by insurance companies through state tax credits. At a certain point, which has not been reached, unlimited assessments on insurance companies can kick in to supplement the fund. Those can be recouped by insurance companies through tax credits, meaning Texas taxpayers would foot the bill.

    On the Net:
    Texas Windstorm Insurance Association, www.twia.org/
    Southwestern Insurance Information Service, www.siisinfo.org/
    Texas Department of Insurance, www.tdi.state.tx.us

    http://www.insurancejournal.com/new.../93867.htm
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    Tom Toll
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    09/20/2008 12:21 PM
    Steve, John Postava had already posted that article, but I guess there is nothing wrong with reading it twice, maybe it soaks in better. Katrina lived over again. Will it never end.
    Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.
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    cegerney
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    09/23/2008 12:33 AM
    Although the homeowners have the ultimate responsibility, the agents should take more of an interest in educating insureds verses procuring a quick signature and a check. For years I did everything but force my policy holders to carry flood regardless of the zone. Then Ivan visited us... and I was a semi hero. I must shake my head a little though...Did they not see the massive amount of insurance related media coverage generated from the 04-05 storms? Allstate's flood commercial alone probably would have scared the $300 out of me!
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    swink_d
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    09/23/2008 9:04 PM
    Its always a lawyer looking for the homerun

    Its never been a winning argument , but they will keep trying

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    nixonjf
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    09/24/2008 1:42 PM
    I found some excellent articles on this topic written post Katrina by Doug Simpson

    http://dougsimpson.com/
    John Nixon
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    Tom Toll
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    09/25/2008 1:42 PM
    Two mechanism's here. Hurricane, (wind pressure) Tidal Surge, (Hydraulic Pressure). Two completely different animals.
    Storm surge is simply water that is pushed toward the shore by the force of the winds swirling around the storm. This advancing surge combines with the normal tides to create the hurricane storm tide, which can increase the mean water level 15 feet or more. In addition, wind driven waves are superimposed on the storm tide. This rise in water level can cause severe flooding in coastal areas, particularly when the storm tide coincides with the normal high tides. Because much of the United States' densely populated Atlantic and Gulf Coast coastlines lie less than 10 feet above mean sea level, the danger from storm tides is tremendous.

    The level of surge in a particular area is also determined by the slope of the continental shelf. A shallow slope off the coast will allow a greater surge to inundate coastal communities. Communities with a steeper continental shelf will not see as much surge inundation, although large breaking waves can still present major problems. Storm tides, waves, and currents in confined harbors severely damage ships, marinas, and pleasure boats.

    One tool used to evaluate the threat from storm surge is the SLOSH model. Emergency managers use this data from SLOSH to determine which areas must be evacuated for storm surge. Storm surge also affects rivers and inland lakes, potentially increasing the area that must be evacuated. You can see some of these effects by looking at simulated storm surge pictures for Brunswick, GA, New Orleans, LA, Brooklyn, NY, Wrightsville Beach, NC and Manteo, NC.

    In general, the more intense the storm, and the closer a community is to the right-front quadrant, the larger the area that must be evacuated. The problem is always the uncertainty about how intense the storm will be when it finally makes landfall. Emergency managers and local officials balance that uncertainty with the human and economic risks to their community. This is why a rule of thumb for emergency managers is to plan for a storm one category higher than what is forecast. This is a reasonable precaution to help minimize the loss of life from hurricanes.

    Wave and current action associated with the tide also causes extensive damage. Water weighs approximately 1,700 pounds per cubic yard; extended pounding by frequent waves can demolish any structure not specifically designed to withstand such forces.

    Effects of ErosionThe currents created by the tide combine with the action of the waves to severely erode beaches and coastal highways. Many buildings withstand hurricane force winds until their foundations, undermined by erosion, are weakened and fail.
    In estuaries and bayous, intrusions of salt water endanger the public health and send animals, such as snakes, to flee from flooded areas and take refuge in urban areas.
    Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.
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    LarryW
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    09/25/2008 10:36 PM
    "Winslow said storm surge in a hurricane is not the same as other flooding, such as rising water in a creek bed. He said the windstorm association's action in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike "sets a dangerous precedent for future windstorms."


    Guess what Mr. Winslow: The precedent was set years and years ago and has been upheld in court over and over. Flood is flood and wind is wind. You can put lipstick on a flood loss, but .... oink.
    No one is absolutely worthless, at the very least you can serve as a bad example.
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    Ray Hall
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    10/07/2008 1:04 AM
    I can use experienced residentual adjusters who want to learn commercial on IKE claims in Houston, Galveston and the Golden Triangle of TX. I will also pay you well. Send a copy of the last 10 file,s you closed this year and the reason you left. No BS I need real adjusters. I am covered up and no time for trainees. rhrayhall@gmail.com
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    Ray Hall
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    10/07/2008 1:05 AM
    I can use experienced residentual adjusters who want to learn commercial on IKE claims in Houston, Galveston and the Golden Triangle of TX. I will also pay you well. Send a copy of the last 10 file,s you closed this year and the reason you left. No BS I need real adjusters. I am covered up and no time for trainees. rhrayhall@gmail.com
    0
    Ray Hall
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    10/07/2008 1:05 AM
    I can use experienced residentual adjusters who want to learn commercial on IKE claims in Houston, Galveston and the Golden Triangle of TX. I will also pay you well. Send a copy of the last 10 file,s you closed this year and the reason you left. No BS I need real adjusters. I am covered up and no time for trainees. rhrayhall@gmail.com
    0
    Ray Hall
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    10/07/2008 1:05 AM
    I can use experienced residentual adjusters who want to learn commercial on IKE claims in Houston, Galveston and the Golden Triangle of TX. I will also pay you well. Send a copy of the last 10 file,s you closed this year and the reason you left. No BS I need real adjusters. I am covered up and no time for trainees. rhrayhall@gmail.com
    0
    Ray Hall
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    10/07/2008 1:05 AM
    I can use experienced residentual adjusters who want to learn commercial on IKE claims in Houston, Galveston and the Golden Triangle of TX. I will also pay you well. Send a copy of the last 10 file,s you closed this year and the reason you left. No BS I need real adjusters. I am covered up and no time for trainees. rhrayhall@gmail.com
    0
    Ray Hall
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    Posts:2443


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    10/07/2008 1:06 AM
    I can use experienced residentual adjusters who want to learn commercial on IKE claims in Houston, Galveston and the Golden Triangle of TX. I will also pay you well. Send a copy of the last 10 file,s you closed this year and the reason you left. No BS I need real adjusters. I am covered up and no time for trainees. rhrayhall@gmail.com
    0
    Ray Hall
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    Posts:2443


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    10/07/2008 1:06 AM
    I can use experienced residentual adjusters who want to learn commercial on IKE claims in Houston, Galveston and the Golden Triangle of TX. I will also pay you well. Send a copy of the last 10 file,s you closed this year and the reason you left. No BS I need real adjusters. I am covered up and no time for trainees. rhrayhall@gmail.com
    0
    Ray Hall
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    Posts:2443


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    10/07/2008 1:06 AM
    I can use experienced residentual adjusters who want to learn commercial on IKE claims in Houston, Galveston and the Golden Triangle of TX. I will also pay you well. Send a copy of the last 10 file,s you closed this year and the reason you left. No BS I need real adjusters. I am covered up and no time for trainees. rhrayhall@gmail.com
    0
    Ray Hall
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    Posts:2443


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    10/07/2008 1:06 AM
    I can use experienced residentual adjusters who want to learn commercial on IKE claims in Houston, Galveston and the Golden Triangle of TX. I will also pay you well. Send a copy of the last 10 file,s you closed this year and the reason you left. No BS I need real adjusters. I am covered up and no time for trainees. rhrayhall@gmail.com
    0
    okclarryd
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    10/08/2008 11:20 PM
    What was that you were saying, Ray?
    Larry D Hardin
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