Hurricane Ike Victims: A Portrait Of Grace And Grit
  By: Frank Chimento
Director of Business Development and Client Services 

I’ve been reading an outstanding book by noted author, Charles Swindoll about the life of the Apostle Paul. The book is simply titled, Paul: A Man Of Grace and Grit. While gaining an in depth understanding of the persecution this great man endured while remaining steadfast toward his mission at hand, I was reminded of the resolve of the hurricane victims in Texas.

I remember shortly after Hurricane Ike devastated the Texas coast, Chip Merlin and I were walking along Bolivar Peninsula. I believe we were in Crystal Beach to be precise. Among the heaps of destruction and the busted concrete slabs and the tattered wooden pilings, I remember Chip stopping to point out to me how many United States and Texas state flags were flying high, along with POW and Vietnam Veteran flags as well. I also remember him clearly stating that, “Texans are not going to just lay down over this without a determined fight.” Texans have grit!

On a personal note, I’ve also witnessed the tremendous understanding that Texans have displayed. For example, in talking with literally hundreds of hurricane victims and hearing about even more, I’ve never once heard a policyholder verbalize wanting anything more than what they’re owed contractually from their insurance company. I can’t recall anyone wanting vengeance against TWIA for only receiving an arbitrary 11.2% payment. Instead, I’ve witnessed an outpouring of empathy for fellow storm victims, a spirit of cooperation and a resounding sentiment of not wanting handouts from anyone. Texans exhibit grace!

Hurricane Ike has brought out the best that Texans offer even in the face of unprecedented hardships, insurance claim denials, severe underpayments and political and legal posturing aimed at preventing a timely and full recovery.

Even this weekend, residents on Bolivar Peninsula are getting together to share information about how to rebuild and recover from the storm. One of our Houston based attorneys, Tina Nicholson, is participating in that effort. Two weeks ago, a group of caring citizens banded together and marched on Austin to voice their concern and their expectations. All over the damaged areas of the state, home and business owners are pulling together; single-minded in their mission to hold insurance companies accountable to the promises they made and to rebuild their communities and their lives.

It is true that in times of trials and tribulations our true character emerges and is tested. I find inspiration and hope from the Texans I’ve met. Insurance companies like TWIA should take note that the people who suffered at the hands of Hurricane Ike should not be taken lightly; behind their tremendous grace is unrivaled grit! for more information on the event this Saturday.