Houston has been devastated by flooding during the ongoing rain brought by Hurricane Harvey. Tornadoes are an almost hourly hazard, and hundreds of thousands of homes are without power or sitting in several feet of water. There are reports of people being rescued from their roofs by helicopter because their roofs were the only place left that was not submerged. Whether you have a few inches in your living room or water pouring through your light fixtures, here are some things you need to know right now about home insurance and flood insurance.
Does my home insurance cover flooding in my house?
No home insurance does NOT include flooding.
Does my home insurance cover damage to my house by wind/hail?
Yes. In most policies you home insurance will cover damages caused by wind and hail, once you first meet your deductible. Most commonly, in Harris County and Fort Bend, you will likely have a 2% deductible that must be met before insurance picks up.
Does my home insurance cover damages to my fence/pool?
Yes. This is covered by your “other structures” on your insurance policy, with at least a 2% deductibles.
Is my vehicle covered for Flood?
Only if you have full coverage will your vehicle will be covered with a deductible met. If you have liability only, you will NOT be covered for Flood.
What is considered a Flood to insurance companies?
Flood is rising water. If water was rising on your street, and got into your house, that is considered a Flood.
My roof was damaged and I got water into my house. Is this covered on home insurance?
Yes. This would be covered by your Home Insurance, NOT Flood Insurance
I do not have Flood insurance and my house was flooded. What do I do?
You will have to come out of pocket to repair any damages due to rising waters.
Federal Disaster Relief for certain individuals can include:
Individual Assistance Program
1) Concentration of Damage: High concentrations of damages to individuals, such as destroyed or damaged housing, may indicate a greater need for Federal assistance than widespread and scattered damages.
2) Trauma: The degree of trauma to the community is considered, with special attention to large numbers of injuries and deaths, large scale disruptions to normal community functions and services, and emergency needs, such as extended or widespread losses of power or water.
3) Special populations: FEMA considers the impact of the disaster on special populations, such as the low-income, the elderly, and the unemployed.
4) Voluntary agency assistance: The capabilities of voluntary, faith, and community-based organizations are taken into consideration, as these entities play an important role in meeting both the emergency and recovery needs of individuals impacted by disasters.
5) Insurance: Stafford Act assistance is supplemental in nature, and therefore the level of insurance coverage is taken into account; primarily to qualify the scope of necessary assistance.
6) Damaged residence severity and number: When conducting joint Preliminary Damage Assessments, FEMA evaluates the total number of homes destroyed and damaged, as well as the accessibility and habitability of the dwellings and the community.