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Houston, Texas 77046
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If you have property damage resulting from Hurricane Harvey, there are a few things that you need to know regarding claims of damage to your:

1. Car must be filed with your car insurance carrier;

2. Home resulting from wind and rain must be filed with your homeowner’s insurance carrier; and

3. Home resulting from floodwaters must be filed with your flood insurance carrier.

Floodwater and rainwater are not the same. Rainwater damage generally occurs when there is a breach in your home’s roof or siding, which results from wind or other damage. Floodwater damage is what most of the Houston area has experienced: widespread, high-rising waters resulting from massive amounts of rain or runoff. The distinction is important for you to make when deciding which policy to file under. Filing a floodwater claim under your homeowner’s policy will be futile; homeowner’s policies do NOT cover property damage from floods.

To file a property damage claim resulting from floodwater, you must:

1. File a claim with your flood insurance carrier;

2. Document all damage related to the floodwater; and

3. File a “Proof of Loss” form with the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which is backed by FEMA.

Know that even though your insurance is backed by FEMA’s NFIP, you must first file a claim with the provider from which you purchased the flood insurance. This may not be the same carrier as the one that handles your homeowner’s insurance.

Starting September 1, 2017, there will be a change to Texas Insurance Law, which will strictly limit your rights regarding property damage claims filed under Texas law. In short, the new law will make it difficult for you to file and litigate weather-related property damage claims. This is why you must file your property damage claims, in writing, by August 31, 2017 to preserve your rights under the current Texas law. File this claim in writing or online and save the form so that you have written proof of filing the claim.

While the claims process will not change with the implementation of the new law, your ability to dispute the claim with the insurance company diminishes severely. In addition, your rights to recover on the claim and the recovery of penalties, should your insurance carrier fail to pay any portion of the claim, also decrease. It is for this reason that filing a claim before September 1, 2017 is so important—your ability to dispute claims will be significantly restricted.

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