Storms Underscore Need for More Homeowners To Get Flood Insurance

As floods hit North Texas, an expert says homeowners need to know there are few options if you are not covered.

The Dallas-Fort Worth area has been drenched with heavy rains causing multiple floods leaving many people’s homes and cars damaged.

According to the Insurance Council of Texas the city of Dallas has less than 5,000 active flood insurance policies in 2020. Statewide, 14% of Texans have flood insurance.

Rich Johnson, spokesperson for the Insurance Council of Texas said while many people believe that they don’t need flood insurance because they don’t live in a flood zone, floods are unpredictable and can affect anyone.

“If we look at events like Harvey, which was five years ago this week, 75% of the homes that flooded during Hurricane Harvey weren’t even in a flood zone,” Johnson said. There’s this misconception that ‘Well, I don’t live in a flood zone. I don’t need flood insurance.’ But you know, as you’re seeing in Dallas right now, you just never know when or where a flood is going to happen.

After flooding, the first priority is making sure that everyone is safe. Then, homeowners are encouraged to take photos before cleaning up flood damage and to keep any destroyed materials. This can be used to file the claim.

Typical homeowners insurance policies don’t include floods. There are few options outside of flood insurance that could help out homeowners with flood-damage, like FEMA if the event is declared an emergency. However, Johnson said that federal aid could take weeks or months and depends on availability.

Also, flood insurance has a 30-day waiting period.

“If you bought flood insurance today, it won’t kick in till 30 days from now,” Johnson said. “So it’s really important to know the timing of that. And so it’s really important to get that policy as soon as possible.”

Johnson said his best advice is to have flood insurance because options outside of that are limited.

Source: Dallas Morning News