We’ve all seen the devastation Hurricane Harvey has caused in Houston. People being rescued by boat. People without power or safe drinking water. Homes that were flooded or completely destroyed. It is heartbreaking. And so many without a flood insurance as opposed to a standard homeowners insurance policy!
Yes, many of those Houston residents are about to face another devastating blow as they discover that their homeowner's insurance doesn’t cover damage caused by floods. Only flood insurance covers flood damage, and in Houston’s Harris County, only about 15 percent of homeowners have flood insurance!
Up to $9.5 Billion of Residential Damage Covered by Flood Insurance
CoreLogic - a provider of consumer financial and property information, analytics and services - estimates the total residential loss from Hurricane Harvey will be $25 to $37 billion – for both insured and uninsured. An estimated $6.5 – 9.5 billion will be covered by insurance. Despite the fact that Houston lies in the projected path of many storms, 70 percent of flood damage caused by Harvey will not be covered by insurance.
On Their Own Without Flood Insurance
This means that thousands of people affected by Hurricane Harvey will be financially responsible for rebuilding their homes and their lives. Families with flooded basements, water-soaked furniture and walls, etc. without flood insurance will have to dig into their savings or take out a loan to get their homes back to normal. Some will probably be forced to sell their homes.
Flood Insurance is Not Mandatory
How did this happen? Flood insurance is not mandatory regardless of where you live. Homeowners who purchase homes in a Special Flood Hazard Zone using federally-backed mortgages must have flood insurance, and sometimes mortgage lenders financing a property in the designated flood zone will require it. However, about 1.2 million properties (approximately half) in the Houston-Sugarland-Baytown area are not in a designated flood zone. Since flood insurance isn’t required in those areas, many homeowners who aren’t forced to purchase flood insurance decide not to.
Almost No Federal Help For Home Damage
Now, if you’re thinking the Federal government will take care of everything, think again. Forbes says, “According to longstanding U.S. disaster relief policy, homeowners get almost no federal relief for reconstruction. This was made painfully clear after Katrina when much of the destruction was not covered by insurance. Many Louisiana homeowners, especially among the poor, were unable to rebuild and abandoned their properties.”
FEMA does offer low-interest loans to most homeowners who are affected by federal disasters and don’t have flood insurance. Those loans will need to be paid back, and for some, it will be like carrying two mortgages.
A Lack of Flood Insurance Participation
as the images of the devastation fade from their minds. Despite the damage caused by Katrina, Sandy, and other large storms in the U.S., only about 12% of U.S. homeowners have flood insurance.
Berks County Flood Insurance
And Berks County has experienced its share of natural disasters including damaging winter storms, flooding, tropical storms (Agnes in 1972), hurricanes (Sandy in 2012), earthquakes (2003 and 2007 in Flying Hills), hailstorms (May 2014) and tornadoes (as recent as June 2017).
Get Educated on Flood Insurance Options for Home and Business
The devastation of Hurricane Harvey serves as a reminder that if protecting your family or your business is a priority, you need an experienced and responsible insurance agent who is willing to educate you and advise you of all the risks – not just flooding but other risks you may not even consider.
Contact American Insuring Group Help with Flood Insurance
The goal at American Insuring Group is to make our customers bulletproof regarding all their insurance protection, including flood insurance.
Don’t wait until something happens and it’s too late - give American Insuring Group a call at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 or Contact us online today! Our independent agents are standing by to help.