Happy New Year from USAA – company dropping wind coverage for policyholders on the Coast

Yesterday’s Sun Herald reported USAA”s New Year’s greeting – Anita Lee had the story:

USAA, the property insurance company for active military and military retirees, plans to discontinue wind and hail coverage for at least 1,150 Coast policyholders, the Mississippi Insurance Department confirmed Wednesday.

A 45-year policyholder with USAA alerted the Sun Herald that the insurance company had notified him by mail his wind and hail would be discontinued when his policy expires in late February.

John Wells of MID said he called USAA and confirmed coverage would be dropped for some Coast customers after two policyholders called him. Wells said both customers who called him were within 1,000 feet of the waterfront. The boundary for wind and hail cutoff was unclear, Wells said.

USAA did not immediately return telephone calls from the Sun Herald about the notifications to policyholders.

Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney said MID is working with a couple of companies interested in entering the Coast insurance market, including one company that would write wind policies.

Reader comments were insightful:

In 2005, I had been a USAA customer for 49 years! When I called and told the claim dept that my home was completely gone to the ground, I was told that I would be getting a full 100% policy payment (well into 6 figures) We didn’t hear anything for several weeks, and since we were too busy trying to find stuff and recover, we didn’t think to call back. When we realized we didn’t have a mailbox anymore,we again called to let them know we hadn’t received a check or seen an adjuster. That is when we were told that they had not and would not send an adjuster as they had determined, apparently from a internet map, that it was all surge and we were not covered. We got nothing, zero, natta. Tried to sue and lost as a clause in the policy exempted surge. We wern’t in a flood zone so if it wasn’t for the grant, I don’t know what we would have done. Thanks to the Miss Grant program.

SLABBED add a “we-told-you-so” to this an other comments showing there were policyholders on the Coast denied coverage without consideration of the wind damage that preceeded the flood waters of Hurricane Katrina – and the government picked up the tab!