Out Of Every 5 Harvey Victims Don't Have Flood Insurance

Posted September 01, 2017

A Mid-South insurance agent is encouraging homeowners to purchase flood insurance in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, as homeowners in Texas who aren't properly insured are expected to take on debt to fix homes.

"It won't happen to me."Homeowners mistakenly think that because they're on higher ground or not beside a river, they're protected".

"What's going on is so unprecedented and so bad and disgusting that Congress is probably going to be very generous in how they do disaster relief", Hunter says.

Consumer advocates say the law could add more delays to the already-tedious claims process and may discourage lawyers from taking on legitimate cases, according to the Consumer Federation of America's Bob Hunter.

Insurance agencies can determine the risk in a homeowner's neighborhood.

U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., is calling on Congress to prevent a lapse in the National Flood Insurance Program, which covers tens of thousands of homeowners in the region, and is set to expire by the end of September.

Insurance companies in the US are bracing themselves for tens of thousands of claims relating to damage caused by Hurricane Harvey earlier this week. This will likely make it hard for any property owners who need to purchase flood insurance as a condition of a new mortgage to close on their deals.

Parker went on the National Flood Insurance Program website and showed us his own policy.

Congress extended the program for five years in 2012, after there had been several lapses between 2008 and 2012. If any items are valued at more than $1,500, discuss them with your insurer. Given the complex nature of commercial claims related to flood, companies are not in a position to provide loss estimates at this time.

Report your damage claim promptly. It has less than $2 billion in cash on hand, with only $6 billion more left in borrowing capacity as it prepares for the claims that will be filed due to Harvey.

Some emergency aid goes out in the form of low-interest loans made by the Small Business Administration (SBA) to businesses, non-profit organizations, homeowners and renters. Friends and family may have photos as well, from holiday celebrations or other occasions at your home.

Of course, there will always be disasters, like Hurricane Sandy, that could have never been prepared for but the is still time to better prepare yourself, your home and your finances for the next storm.

The Government Accountability Office has included the program on its "High-Risk List" since 2006, finding flaws with its fundamental structure.

Most insurance companies offer text alerts as a standard way of updating customers on the status of their claims. Most policies will cover up to $250,000 damage to the building (including foundation, paneling, carpet, etc.) and $100,000 in personal property (clothing, beds, couches, furniture, etc.). During a massive Texas flood in May 2016, Micky and George Hartz found their Magnolia neighborhood under six feet of water, with their home taking in some of that.

"They're seeing you know the heartbreaking stuff that's happening in Houston and going that could be us", says Pat Parker from State Farm Insurance. But in that 2005 hurricane, about half of flooded homes were covered by flood insurance.

"It was over $85,000 just to fix our house".