Category Archives: Insurance Information

So Called Blue Tarp Bills Taking Affect Do Not Apply to Flood Insurance

Concerns raised about state statues taking effect as of September 1st that would lessen penalties to insurance companies in certain circumstances will not affect most victims of Hurricane Harvey according to Sondra Brown of Gulf Coast Legal Aide.

Senate Bill 10 and House Bill 1774 do affect windstorm and homeowners insurance but not flood insurance according to Brown.

Flood insurance is administered through the federal government and is not subject to state law, Brown says.

 

Texans Urged to Get Flood Insurance

More than 22,000 Texans battered by flooding over the last two years settled claims with the National Flood Insurance Program for over $1 billion, disaster recovery officials said today. Severe storms and flooding over the last two years resulted in six federal disaster declarations in Texas, affecting more than half of the state’s 254 counties, many on multiple occasions. Residents are still picking up the pieces from flood-related disaster declarations in March, April and May-June this year.

 

About 100,000 individuals and families registered with FEMA for federal assistance during the 2015-2016 recovery. Only a small percentage received the agency’s maximum award of $33,000, for losses likely much greater. The average FEMA grant for the May-June floods was about $6,800.

 

Those with flood insurance and who filed claims in the last two years received an average settlement of about $57,000.  There doesn’t have to be a federal disaster declaration to file a claim; in fact, most floods do not result in disaster declarations.

 

Most Texans Lack Flood Policies

 

Flooding is the most common U.S. disaster as well as the costliest natural disaster. Yet most Texans lack flood insurance, according to the Insurance Council of Texas. Less than 25 percent of the state’s homeowners are covered, despite the risks.

 

Homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flood damage, but the NFIP does. Funded by FEMA, NFIP makes flood insurance available for communities that participate in the program, regardless of whether the area is high, low, or medium risk. Check the Community Status Book to see if your community is already an NFIP partner.

 

NFIP carries a maximum coverage of $250,000 for homes and $100,000 for contents. Business coverage is a maximum of $500,000 for building and $500,000 for contents.

 

In nearly all cases, it takes 30 days after purchase for a policy to take effect, so it’s important to buy insurance before the storm approaches and the floodwaters start to rise.

 

To learn more about any property’s flood risk, estimate an NFIP premium or locate an insurance agent who sells flood insurance, go to www.floodsmart.gov. For flood information and safety tips visit www.ready.gov/floods. Find the Spanish-language website at www.listo.gov.

Take Pictures and Save Your Receipts

Document! Document! Document!
Save Receipts

If you are throwing out carpet, furniture or other items lost to flooding, take pictures of the lost items before they leave your property. Also, save any and all receipts related to the repair and recovery of due to flooding. This extremely valuable when you are seeking reimbursement of any kind from both your insurance company or FEMA.

Insurance Phone Numbers

Allstate 1-800-54-Storm (1-800-547-8676)
AAA Texas 1-800-672-5246
Nationwide 1-800-421-3535
Farmers 1-800-HelpPoint (1-800-435-7764)
Farmers Spanish-speaking customers can call 1-877-RECLAMO (1-877-732-5266)
Foremost Insurance 1- 800-527-3907
Bristol West Insurance 1- 800-274-7865
Mercury Insurance 1-800-503-3724
State Farm 1-800 SF CLAIM (1-800-732-5246)
Travelers Insurance 1-800-238-6225
USAA:1-800-531-8722
Texas Windstorm Insurance Association 1-800-788-8247
Texas Fair Access to Insurance Requirements (FAIR) Plan 1-800-788-8247
The Texas Department of Insurance can also help you find the right contacts: 1-800-252-3439 or www.tdi.state.tx.us/consumer/storms/cpmdiscatlist.html