The Harvey experience in Texas has put a spotlight on flood insurance. It is estimated that hundreds of thousands of Texas homeowners have inadequate insurance to cover all their losses.
Most homeowners can’t remember all the details of their insurance and it is only after a flood or some other kind of a disaster that they relearn what coverage they have.
Most do have homeowners insurance that covers damage from wind, fire, trees that damage their houses and other storm-related damages, but not for flooding. For flood insurance, some homeowners do have it through the federal government, through its National Flood Insurance Program.
Insurance agents explain policies, but most homeowners can’t remember exactly what they have. It often is a shock when they learn that this or that damage isn’t covered. Seldom do homeowners reread their policies.
The Wall Street Journal reported that households and businesses in Harris County, Texas, which includes Houston, “held roughly 249,000 federal flood insurance policies as of June 30,” according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. There are about 1.7 million housing units in the county. The vast majority do not have flood coverage. There are maximum amounts that will be paid, such as $250,000 for rebuilding and $100,000 for personal property.
The right thing to do is periodically check the coverage you have. There will be some federal aid for flood victims in Texas forthcoming, but it won’t cover all that has been lost for many people.