Hello my name is Jesse and I have been a Houston Lawyer Referral Service member for about six years now.
HLRS is a service to connect you with the right attorney for the type of problem you are facing.
I personally practice plaintiff insurance policy holder litigation so I want to visit with you for a little while to make sure how you are ready for the upcoming hurricane season.
In order to do so, it’s first important to make sure you understand the difference between homeowners’ insurance versus the national flood insurance program managed by the federal insurance agency better known as FEMA.
FEMA flood policies cover only direct physical damage directly caused by a flood. So if a creek or bayou overflows or rain causes rising water outside your home to enter your home that is most likely covered by flood insurance policy and not by your homeowners’ insurance.
However, if high winds cause rain to enter your home such as a tornado, hurricane or even just a microburst of wind that sometimes happens here in Texas, that is a situation most likely covered by your homeowners’ insurance and not by a flood policy.
That is an important distinction. Why?
Well, unfortunately as many Texans found out during Hurricane Harvey in 2017, in that situation there was a lot of rain that fell in a span of a few short days and caused record-breaking flooding in areas not previously known to flood.
Those people did not have flood insurance so they filed homeowners’ claims which, as we discussed, those policies do not cover rising water so those Texans were stuck between coverage on policies.
So remember: rising flood water that’s a FEMA flood policy. Rain, wind or even hail that causes damage to your roof that causes water to enter your home from the outside, that is a homeowners’ insurance claim.
Most everyone has to have homeowners insurance. It’s required if you are paying a mortgage on your home but not everyone has to have a flood insurance policy. Those are only required if you live in certain flood plains. The takeaway here is if you live in an area that is prone to flooding, you might want to consider buying a flood insurance policy. They are generally pretty cheap and sometimes well worth the price for peace of mind.
Now if you do decide to buy a policy, do it now. Most people don’t know that flood policies have a 30-day time period from time purchased to the time the incident occurs. That’s to stop fraud, so buy it early if you are concerned about flooding.
Now if you unfortunately suffer an insurance loss, document everything: pictures, video, texting emails with adjusters. You better believe they are documenting their actions and if you can not resolve your claim or the insurance carrier attempts to deny, delay or underpay your claim, it is time at that point to talk about that claim with an attorney and that’s where HLRS can correctly help you out. The Houston Lawyer Referral Service has qualified pre-screened attorneys and can connect you with the practice area that you have a problem in.
Need an attorney referral? Go to HLRS.org and click request a referral now.
Have further questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I hope this has been helpful. Stay safe. Texas.