On September 8, 2008, Governor Rick Perry issued a proclamation declaring that Hurricane Ike poses a threat of imminent disaster along the Texas Coast and in numerous counties including Angelina, Austin, Brazoria, Brazos, Chambers, Cherokee, Fort Bend, Galveston, Gregg, Hardin, Harris, Jasper, Jefferson, Liberty, Matagorda, Montgomery, Nacogdoches, Newton, Orange, Polk, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Trinity, Tyler, Waller, Walker, and Wharton counties beginning September 7, 2008 and continuing, directing that all necessary measures both public and private as authorized under §418.017 of the Texas Government Code be implemented to meet that threat. The proclamation also states that, as provided in §418.016 of the Texas Government Code, all rules and regulations that may inhibit or prevent prompt response to this threat are suspended for the duration of the disaster. On September 12, 2008, Governor Rick Perry issued an amendment to his September 7, 2008 proclamation, declaring that additional counties including Grimes, Houston, Madison, Rusk, and Washington counties are under imminent threat of disaster as a result of Hurricane Ike.
On September 13, 2008, President George Bush issued a major disaster declaration for the state of Texas and ordered federal aid to supplement state, local and tribal recovery efforts in the area struck by Hurricane Ike beginning on September 7, 2008, and continuing. The President's action makes federal funding available to affected individuals in the counties of Angelina, Austin, Brazoria, Chambers, Cherokee, Fort Bend, Galveston, Grimes, Hardin, Harris, Houston, Jasper, Jefferson, Liberty, Madison, Matagorda, Montgomery, Nacogdoches, Newton, Orange, Polk, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Trinity, Tyler, Walker, Waller, and Washington.
On October 7, 2008, Governor Perry renewed the disaster proclamation of September 8, 2008, certifying that certain Texas counties are continuing to endure a disaster as a result of Hurricane Ike and extended it to remain in effect until November 6, 2008, unless renewed or terminated.
Due to the devastation resulting from Hurricane Ike, and the relocation of hurricane victims and other personal hardships sustained by residents of Angelina, Austin, Brazoria, Brazos, Chambers, Cherokee, Fort Bend, Galveston, Gregg, Grimes, Hardin, Harris, Houston, Jasper, Jefferson, Liberty, Madison, Matagorda, Montgomery, Nacogdoches, Newton, Orange, Polk, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Rusk, Trinity, Tyler, Walker, Waller, Washington, and Wharton counties, the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) encourages insurers to use all available means to provide prompt and immediate relief to those residents and policyholders, including but not limited to the suspension of any vacancy provision contained in the policy forms to allow continuing insurance coverage. In conjunction with this effort and in accord with the Governor's proclamation, TDI will monitor any attempt by an insurer to invoke the vacancy provision for policyholders who have not moved from their home or business but who have been temporarily displaced from their home or business due to damage caused by Hurricane Ike. This bulletin is not intended to limit the application of a vacancy provision for policyholders who have moved permanently from their home or business to another location. Rather, it is intended that the insurer grant the policyholder an extended grace period for the home or business due to temporary displacement.
The TDI also strongly encourages all agents to contact each insurer they represent to verify compliance with the spirit and intent of this bulletin and to advise policyholders accordingly.
Questions regarding this bulletin may be directed to David Nardecchia, Deputy Commissioner, Personal and Commercial Lines Division at 512-305-7544.
Commissioner of Insurance