Texas residents received fraudulent windstorm inspections, may not be eligible for coverage

Texas Windstorm InsuranceThe Texas Windstorm Insurance Association, the state-run insurance program that is one of the very few places offering coverage against wind damage to Texas residents, will continue to offer insurance coverage thanks to a special session of the state’s Legislature. Lawmakers toiled over the issue for some time, often unable to meet a consensus on what should be done about the indebted program. The decision was made some weeks ago that the program should continue, but with changes. Along with these changes come new home inspections, which will determine whether properties can be insured through the program and for how much.

While it may be good news to residents of coastal areas whose homes lie in the path of hurricanes, many will be frustrated to learn that their windstorm insurance reviews were done by fake inspectors. The fraud is focused around the Corpus Christi area and, pending a ruling from the state’s Department of Insurance, will affect whether or not residents can obtain coverage through the windstorm program.

Troy Riggs, Police Chief of the Corpus Christi Police Department, sent letters to more than 400 homeowners in the area notifying them that they may have been subject to fraud. Riggs notes that homes receiving inspections before 2008 by Gary Garza, a man who has claimed to be an engineer at the time but had no credentials, were fraudulent. Residents suspecting that they may be victims are encouraged to contact insurance officials to clear up the issue.

Gary Garza is currently in custody for lesser offenses and tampering with governmental records.

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