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AUSTIN, Texas — If you live near the Texas coast and don’t have flood insurance, now is the time to act. There are only 30 days until hurricane season, and most policies take 30 days to become effective. And Houstonians have learned in recent years, hurricanes and tropical storms can create flooding problems for those near bayous and rivers too.
“I feel it’s important to remind everyone,” says FOX 26 Meteorologist John Dawson, “that regular homeowners and renters insurance do not cover any damage from flooding.”
After Hurricane Harvey, about 92,000 Texans received flood insurance payouts, bringing an estimated $8.92 billion for those survivors. Many Texans without flood insurance, however, had to rebuild their lives with personal savings and whatever federal assistance they were eligible to receive.
“Harvey of course was a tropical cyclone,” explains FOX 26 Meteorologist John Dawson. “And while June 1, the start of hurricane season is a great reminder to buy or renew your flood insurance, floods can happen year-round. Most Houstonians remember the Tax Day Flood in 2016 and the Memorial Day Flood of 2015, those happened outside of hurricane season.”
Floods are the most common and most costly natural disaster in the United States. A single inch of water in an average home can cause more than $26,000 in damage, and floods have struck all 50 states in the past five years.
People who rent their home can cover the contents of their dwelling for up to $100,000 in flood damage. People who own their home are eligible for up to $100,000 in contents coverage and $250,000 for the building itself.
No one should rely on federal disaster assistance to make them whole after a flood. Federal assistance is only available if the president declares a disaster, and even then, assistance is likely to be provided for partial repairs or in the form of a low-interest loan that must be paid back.
In addition to flood insurance, Texas residents should consider homeowners or renters insurance as well as wind insurance, as each policy type covers different kinds of damage. For more on these insurance types, visit https://go.usa.gov/xQ7px.
The National Flood Insurance Program is only available in communities that participate in NFIP and pass floodplain management regulations to reduce the impact of future weather events. To find out if you’re in an NFIP community, contact your insurance agent or your local floodplain manager.