Reversal of Roles

The Dallas / Fort Worth area has two unusual outbreaks of tornados over the past three months.

On December 26th, a series of tornados including at least one EF-4 hit the area leaving major damage and 13 dead.

Once again last week on March 8th, another series of less severe tornados hit the area. Included in that batch was an EF-0 tornado, which hit The Colony where we live.

After both events there were news reports talking about the lack of financial help available from FEMA.

Let’s take a closer look at these two situations.

After the December outbreak, Texas Governor Greg Abbot applied for federal relief.

His initial request was denied, as was a subsequent request.

In this case, FEMA assistance was denied because that assistance is only available if the area meets a threshold of “underinsurance.”

While there were some underinsured individuals, the area as a whole did not meet the required threshold.

After last weeks outbreak there was a news report which featured a resident of The Colony who was complaining that there was no government assistance available to repair her home and those repairs were going to cost her $1,000 of her own money.

This storm had a small footprint causing major damage to just a few houses.

It was only the day after the storm that the National Weather Service classified the storm as an EF-0 tornado.

With such a small number of houses affected, government officials probably didn’t even consider requesting government assistance.

My interpretation of the situation is that the homeowner featured on the news story was complaining that she had to pay her homeowners’ insurance deductable.

As a homeowner she should understand how homeowners’ insurance works.

The lower the deductable, the higher the premium will be.

A responsible homeowner should select a deductable, which they can afford in the case of a loss and a premium, which is also affordable.

As a liberal you might expect me to side with the homeowners and expect government assistance to be available.

In the case of the December storms I do sympathize with any underinsured homeowners.

On the other hand, there is no indication the woman in The Colony was underinsured.

It just seems that she doesn’t feel she should have to pay her own deductable.

While thinking of these two situations, I thought it was ironic that Governor Abbot who seeks less government was requesting government assistance while I was saying the individuals need to take responsibility for the deductable portion of their own damages.


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