Insurance claims decisions cannot be made in good faith without full investigation and honest consideration of the resulting information. Some adjusters are not truly listening to their policyholders and considering what their policyholders tell them. Some carriers seem to conduct investigations with cursory expert work or only consider the opinions of the typical insurance expert without giving full consideration to other opinions. Many insurers are not conducting full investigations of Hurricane Ike claims, instead doing just enough looking to find reasons to deny or underpay.

Most policyholders do not know where to find experts familiar with issues of windstorm damage. Many cannot afford to do so. Today, I am making available a client’s meteorologist report to help demonstrate that many areas in Galveston, Bolivar and Houston sustained tornado type wind events.

The report notes that there were sufficient wind speeds to cause extensive damage by tornadic events along the Bolivar peninsula and other areas:

"Using the collected NEXRAD data and knowing the limitations of NEXRAD to detect these phenomena, I estimate that there were over 60 mesocyclones that moved over the Bolivar peninsula. Based on this estimate and using the percentages from previous studies, this would place between 18 to 30 tornadoes on Bolivar peninsula as early as 10:43PM, September 2008.

There are several pictures I took during the site visit that show distinct rotation based upon how remaining structures and poles were oriented. This indicates tornadic activity.

At 7:00PM, September 12, 2008 there were measured winds of 115 knots (126 miles per hour) only 2000 feet above the surface along the edge of the Bolivar peninsula. This measurement was recorded by a rawinsonde observation. With the numerous convective cells over the Bolivar peninsula, it is very plausible that winds from 2000 feet above the surface were transported down to the surface causing gusts as high as 100 miles per hour. These winds would not be detected by NEXRAD because the radar beam would be located above the 2000 foot level over Bolivar peninsula." 

Anybody can use this report for any purpose they wish. The bottom line is that the insurance company experts typically do not conduct this kind of in depth investigation to find evidence supporting higher payments. Get your own analysis if you suspect your insurer is underpaying your claim.