Thousands upon thousands in Houston and Harris County have been impacted by the force of Hurricane Harvey, realizing all too well the necessity of homeowners insurance and finding out the hard way just how important it is to have the separate flood policy. It is estimated that only about 15 percent of homeowners in Harris County have flood insurance.
The main difference between standard homeowners insurance and a flood policy is rising water. There are many examples of other scenarios in which water may enter your home and, depending on your homeowners insurance policy, the damage would likely be covered. For instance, if a pipe burst or a hot water heater leaked. But homeowners must purchase a separate policy for rising water, specifically a flood insurance policy that is written through the National Flood Insurance Program administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Many who didn’t flood are feeling very fortunate and maybe even thinking that flood insurance isn’t necessary after all. If your home didn’t flood in a 1,000- year flood event like Harvey, how could you possibly flood during any other storm?
The possibility is quite real, actually.
There are numerous variables impacting the way water moves around our communities:
1. Land subsidence, which is the ground sinking over time.
2. People moving into our area: New houses, roads, schools, hospitals, and more require concrete that reduce water saturation.
3. Drastic and unpredictable weather changes.
Bottom line: History means nothing and every house in Harris County is potentially in a flood plain. Insurance professionals and representatives from Harris County Flood Control District agree, everyone in Harris County should have flood insurance.
The maximum cost of flood insurance for a homeowner is $450 per year, and while it must be paid in full annually, the breakdown is $37.50 per month. Renters also have the option for a flood insurance policy with $50,000 in coverage for $235 per year.
Give yourself peace of mind and don’t consider yourself safe. Ask anyone currently without flood insurance if they will have a policy in the future – you’ll likely get a resounding yes.
E-mail Commissioner Cagle
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Harris County Precinct 4
1001 Preston, Suite 950
Houston, Texas 77002