For many homeowners devastated with flooding in Houston, the other shoe will drop if they don’t have a specific flood insurance policy, because standard homeowners insurance doesn’t cover this kind of event. Those who have never read their standard homeowners policy may be in for the shock of their lives.
What homeowners insurance does and does not cover
The Wall Street Journal reports that up to 70% of the estimated dollar losses of nearly $37 billion may not be covered. Many homeowners never read their homeowners hazard insurance policy and may assume they are covered in a flood.
But standard homeowners hazard insurance covers water damage only when, for example, high winds rip the roof off and rain pours in. This is known as “wind storm damage”. It may also cover sudden damage from a burst pipe.
Standard homeowners insurance policies typically do not cover damage from a backed up sewer line, from a slow drip of a pipe in a wall, and in the case of Harvey’s flooding, will not cover water invasion from over saturated ground, flooding streets or overflowing bodies of water.
When flood insurance is needed
Flood insurance is purchased separately and is overseen by the U.S. government even though policy holders must purchase the flood policies through private insurance companies. There is typically a deductible amount of up to $5,000 and the maximum coverage for damage to a home through the federal program is $250,000. Optional coverage for personal belongings can be added with a limit of $100,000.
If you purchase a home in a flood prone area with a mortgage, the lender will require you to purchase flood insurance. Outside of areas subject to flooding, purchasing a flood policy is optional. Flooding from Harvey was epic and historic, inundating areas of Houston where people thought they were safe.
Heart wrenching personal stories of loss
In this poignant video by the New York Times, a family returns to their flooded home in Houston to salvage what they can. It powerfully conveys the trauma of such devastating loss.
Houston lawyers fighting for you in a denied claim
While we will not be able to help Texans whose homes were affected by Harvey’s floods, we are available to discuss wind storm related damage caused by Harvey.
If your windstorm claim has been denied, The Callahan Law Firm is your source in Houston for pursuing justice in such denials. Our attorneys provide you with a free case evaluation and we provide legal representation on a contingency basis, meaning we only get paid if you make a recovery whether through settlement or a jury verdict.