On September 8, 2008 and on September 12, 2008, Governor Rick Perry proclaimed Hurricane Ike to pose a threat of imminent disaster. On September 13, 2008 , President George W. Bush declared Hurricane Ike to be a catastrophe. Beginning September 14, 2008, I issued several bulletins giving guidance on insurer and agent response to Hurricane Ike. On September 24, 2008 I issued a weather-related bulletin, B-0066-08, pursuant to Tex. Ins. Code §542.059 (b), to provide insurers 15 additional days for claims handling services. I issued the bulletin extending time for claims handling because extension of time was necessary because of the large number of claims resulting from Hurricane Ike.
Nearly six months have elapsed since Hurricane Ike made landfall in Texas. The vast majority of the claims resulting from Hurricane Ike have been identified and filed. Because insurers response to the Hurricane was effective and positive, I did not extend the bulletins beyond March 6, 2009. However, it is my continuing expectation that insurers, their representatives, and agents will efficiently, effectively, prudently and timely provide services to their policyholders that these customers expect and deserve. Insurers should not take advantage of the bulletin extending of claims handling time unless the extension is absolutely necessary. Texas policyholders with outstanding or unreported claims have already borne uncertainty for six months.
It is my expectation that insurers and their agents will continue to make Texas a proud leader in the insurance industry and demonstrate to the nation the best professional conduct in serving Texas consumers.