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      Suspicious insurance claims could hike homeowners TM costs

      It's the last weekend those affected by the McAllen hail storm two years ago, can file an insurance claim for damages to their home or business.

      Apparently some public adjusters are hoping residents as far away as Brownsville will file a claim, even though the hail storm did not affect that area.

      Albert Perez, Jr., president of Brisky and Perez Insurance in Brownsville, said adjusters are targeting low income, Spanish-speaking homeowners and talking them into signing contracts, in exchange for a new roof. He adds they got at least 10 of these claims. The hail storm did not pass through Brownsville.

      "I don't want to use the word scam, but it is it really legitimate? Perez said. A lot of question there."

      Perez said homeowners are being pressured by these adjusters to sign-on, telling them their neighbors have also signed the contracts. They are also falsely informing homeowners, that the money for their new roof will come from the government.

      Unfortunately, Perez said, insurance companies are cornered in this situation, and are forced to pay. In the long run, it could hurt homeowners TM pockets. The very few companies that are left, that are still providing wind and hail in their policies, can very easily just raise their hands and say, ~you know what we've had enough of this - we're getting all these claims dropped-in that are being fabricated, TM" Perez said.

      If insurance companies drop wind and hail coverage in their policies, homeowners affected by these weather events in the future, will have to turn to the state-funded Texas Wind Insurance Association for their claims. That fund is currently depleted. Law makers will be tasked with finding a way to replenish the fund.

      "Not our representatives of course, but a lot of other representatives in the state are saying, ~fine the coastal counties, it's their problem, tax them and don't tax anybody else, TM" Perez said.

      Those that signed a claim may not be able to rescind their contract anymore. Perez believes they may not face any penalties but they have launched an investigation on the public adjusters and will report their findings to the Texas Department of Insurance.