|The information below is intended to provide some basic information for anyone with insurance questions related to the recent flooding and storm damage experienced in Texas.|
Wind, including a tornado: A typical homeowners policy covers damage caused by wind, including tornadoes.
Hail: A typical homeowners policy covers damage caused by hail.
WIND and HAIL NOTE: If your home is located in one of Texas' 14 coastal counties, or parts of southeastern Harris County, your homeowners policy MAY NOT cover damage caused by wind and hail. If your home is located in the above area, your wind and hail coverage may be written through the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA.) If so, for additional information contact TWIA at 1-800-788-8247 or visit its website at www.twia.org.
FLOOD NOTE: To protect your home from damage caused by flood, you will need to purchase a separate flood policy from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) administered by FEMA. Flood policies typically have a 30-day waiting period before you will have coverage. This link has a summary of coverage, https://www.floodsmart.gov/floodsmart/pdfs/Summary_of_Coverage_English.pdf
For additional information, contact NFIP at 1-888-FLOOD 29 (356-6329) or visit its website at www.floodsmart.gov.
If you purchased comprehensive (commonly referred to as “other than collision”), your personal auto policy may cover damage to your auto caused by flood, hail, or wind (including a tornado). Comprehensive coverage typically pays for damage to your auto caused by events other than a collision, including theft, fire, flood, hail, and wind. Comprehensive coverage also pays for a loss to your auto from contact with birds or animals or breakage of glass.
AUTO NOTE: If you only purchased auto liability insurance and did not purchase comprehensive coverage for damage to your auto, your personal auto policy will not pay for damage to your auto caused by events such as flood, hail, or wind. Auto liability insurance pays for injuries to other people or property of others that you, or a covered person, cause in an auto accident.
- Be sure to keep a record of all contacts you have with your agent or company.
- Be prepared to answer questions about the extent and severity of the damage.
If so, ask your agent about coverage that may be available to you for your additional living expenses (ALE). Homeowners insurance policies pay for your additional living expenses if you are unable to live in your home because of a covered loss. You will need to provide documentation regarding your expenses.
FLOOD NOTE: Flood policies DO NOT cover your additional living expenses if you are unable to live in your home due to a covered flood loss.
Are You Making Repairs Before Settling Your Insurance Claim?
- Don't make permanent repairs until instructed by your insurance company.
- Save all repair receipts.
- If you are temporarily out of your home, make sure your insurer knows where they can reach you.
- Inspect your property and cars for damage.
- Inventory your damage.
- Photograph or video the damage.
- Don’t throw away damaged property until your insurance adjuster has seen it.
- Get your insurance company’s approval before you make any permanent repairs.
- Try to be present when the insurance adjuster inspects the damage. Be sure your address is visible.
- If you moved out of your house temporarily, leave a note or a plywood sign with your temporary address, phone number, and name of your insurance company.
OPIC Article that addresses the unique insurance claim process for the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA)
TDI has extended the 60-day deadline to file for appraisal on a TWIA claim an additional 60 days. A TWIA customer now has 120 days to request appraisal after they receive a full or partial payment on their claim. This gives them more time to consult a contractor or other expert to analyze the claim payment.
The Governor's Commission to Rebuild Texas website: www.rebuildtexas.today
Attorney General's Consumer Protection Hotline: 1-800-612-0508 or via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
TDI Consumer Helpline: 1-800-252-3439 and a Help after Harvey website: http://www.tdi.texas.gov/consumer/storms/helpafterharvey.html
Storm Recovery Assistance
Disaster Assistance/Insurance Company Mobile Unit Locations throughout Texas: http://www.tdi.texas.gov/consumer/storms/mobileunits.html
FEMA: 1-800-621-3362 or www.DisasterAssistance.gov
National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP): www.FloodSmart.gov
To file flood claims with the NFIP: 1-800-638-9487
Texas Windstorm Insurance Association: 1-800-788-8247 or www.twia.org
OPIC PRESS RELEASE: HB 1774 and the Insurance Claim Process is available at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2017/8/prweb14651918.htm
For additional information on insurance coverage for storm damage to your home or auto please review this article on our website:http://www.opic.texas.gov/resources/articles-test/item/609-did-you-have-storm-damage-to-your-home-or-auto-and-need-help-understanding-your-insurance-coverage
For additional information, contact the Office of Public Insurance Counsel at 512-322-4143.