That is the million dollar question or maybe billions! For many Texans who know, June 1st marks the official start of hurricane season. It’s hard to believe, yet, with the second anniversary of Hurricane Harvey coming up this August (it affected an area the size of the state of New Jersey with floodwaters) Southeast Texas has actually seen a decrease
in the amount of flood insurance policies written and maintained according to the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI).
There was a 29% increase in federal flood insurance policies in the counties affected by Harvey, according to the TDI. Now, the attrition has started, with many of those counties starting to register decreases in policies. People seem to get “Hurricanesia” (yes, I made that up!) after it’s been a few years since a Hurricane has hit a particular area – people tend to forget the importance of insurance, an evacuation plan, emergency home maintenance, emergency supplies, etc.
Typically, the majority of home and renters’ insurance policies do not cover flooding, and the TDI warns that more consumers may be at risk for flooding than are aware. In southeast Texas, never think it cannot happen to you! With older neighborhoods not having retention ponds + urban sprawl which is eliminating places for the water to go, many areas are flooding now that never did previously. The Houston Chronicle found that almost three-quarters of the homes and apartment buildings damaged by Harvey in Harris County were outside the 100-year floodplain, which is the area where flood insurance is required.
Consumers can find out more about flood insurance at floodsmart.gov. Homeowners with a property outside a high-risk area may be able to purchase a policy for as low as $500 per year, according to the TDI. Renters can purchase contents-only policies to cover their belongings. Most flood insurance policies have a 30-day waiting period, so the time to get flood (for businesses and homeowners) insurance and renter’s (for rentals) insurance policies to protect your property and/or assets is now!*
*Please know that I am not a Flood or Insurance expert and do not pretend to be! However, should you need to sell, buy, invest or lease real estate, I’m your person! Please contact Harris County Flood Control District to learn more about how you can remain informed and be safe in the case of an extreme weather event: HCFCD site
If you have any comments or questions, do not hesitate to contact me! #CallOnChristine 832.755.2954