It is estimated that close to half of all the properties affected by the storm lacked flood insurance.
Hurricane Harvey destroyed somewhere in the neighborhood of 40,000 homes. Yet, for Texas residents, replacing them might not happen. It is estimated that close to half of all the properties affected by the storm lacked flood insurance.
While properties that sit in a Flood Hazard Area are required to carry flood insurance, in Houston, this amounts to roughly 52 percent. The other 48 percent in the outlying areas are not required to carry flood insurance, and many of them typically don’t.
While people can often underestimate the risk of a flood, according to Carolyn Kousky, director for policy research and engagement at the Wharton School of Business’ Risk Management and Decision Processes Center, “What we see in Houston was such an unprecedented amount of rain that lots of the people getting inundated never even thought it was possible that they could flood.”
Homeowners’ policies don’t protect against floods unless they are bought separately, or included through the National Flood Insurance Program. However, whether some policies will still protect homeowners depends on isolating if the damage from Hurricane Harvey resulted from wind – which is included in the policy – or flooding.
The difference often lies in whether or not the roof, siding, and windows are intact. In the event of wind, these things usually show significant damage. However, when the damage is only from flooding, the roof, siding, and windows will be undamaged for the most part.
Yet as Cynthia DiVincenti, vice president with Aon National Flood Services points out, “If the roof is gone or the windows are gone and you have water in the house, then it gets a little harder to figure out.”
For residents of Texas, they will have to wait for the waters to recede to find out.
This article is brought to you by ASAP Roofing, a national roofing company that specializes in roofing restoration, weatherization, and hail damage. ASAP has offices in Denver, Colorado, and Dallas, Texas.