Insurance

Galveston woman Turns to Ted after flood insurance issues for beachfront property

GALVESTON, Texas (KTRK) — After years of living in the frigid Midwest, Kim Yaklic and her husband are enjoying spending time these days on the shores of Galveston.

“It’s great. I couldn’t ask for anything better,” Yaklic said. “It’s nice and relaxing.”

Still, Yaklic said when she moved to a beachfront property a few years ago, she knew she needed flood insurance. In fact, she said she maxed out all the different insurance options – windstorm, flood and homeowners – just to be safe.

“I know it’s not pretty,” she said about hurricane season, which starts June 1, 2022. “I know they can be bad. I know that Beachtown, this whole area, made it through Ike with no damage, so I’m hoping that because of their hurricane-rated windows and things like that, that maybe it’ll weather the storms, so we’ll see.”

Yaklic said since the couple has a VA mortgage, part of their monthly mortgage payment is set aside to cover insurance through their escrow account.

The funds in the escrow account are the Yaklics and the mortgage company is supposed to make sure all of the couple’s home-related insurance and taxes are paid on time.

“If it goes well, they take care of the flood insurance, the windstorm (insurance), the homeowners (insurance) and also they take care of the taxes,” she told ABC13’s Ted Oberg.

But with hurricane season approaching, Yaklic said she wanted to make sure her flood insurance got paid on time, especially since she said she’s had some issues in the past.

“I just didn’t trust that anything from escrow was going to come out correctly,” she said.

Her payment was due April 20. She said when she called her mortgage company, PennyMac, on April 6, they told her it would be paid without any problems. She called a week later and found out her flood insurance still wasn’t paid.

“I kept calling and everybody promised me that it was going to be paid, it’s in the system. They’re going to cut a check and it would be overnighted to make it in time. It was not,” Yaklic said.

When the due date came and went and PennyMac still hadn’t paid for her flood insurance, Yaklic Turned to Ted.

“I finally reached out to you and thought maybe somebody in the media could help at least push it along a little bit, which you did, so thank you very much for that,” she said.

We reached out to PennyMac on May 4 and two days later Yaklic said she got a call from the company, who finally paid the flood insurance.

“It must have been immediate,” she said.

PennyMac told us the payment wasn’t submitted on time due to a processing error.

“We are reviewing our procedures to identify opportunities for improvement,” PennyMac told us. “Customer service is one of our top priorities and we regret that it was not resolved in a more timely manner. We acknowledge there were missed opportunities that could have resulted in an improved customer experience.”

Yaklic said she wants other homeowners to remember to check with their mortgage companies when their insurance is due to make sure it gets paid on time.

“I don’t want anybody else to get caught with no insurance because it could be devastating, especially with hurricane season approaching,” she said.

FEMA told us homeowners should contact their insurance company to get information on whether or not payment has been made.

Still, homeowners can call the FEMA Mapping and Insurance Exchange at 877-336-2627 – or 877-FEMA-MAP – to figure out the effective and expiration date of their flood insurance policy as well as the name of their insurance company and the phone number for the underwriter.

For more information on companies that can write and service the NFIP Standard Flood Insurance Policy click here.

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