The Texas Tribune reports that the Texas Water Development Board found that almost six million Texans, or about 20% of the population, live in an area susceptible to flooding. Further, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) estimates that just one inch of water can cause approximately $25,000 of damage to your property. To protect against these costly events, you should understand flood insurance in Texas. 

So, what is covered by flood insurance? Flood insurance generally covers building property and personal property, with the exact coverage depending on your particular policy and policy carrier. Here, we will explore what flood insurance covers, where you can get it, and how much it typically costs. 

What Is Flood Insurance? 

Flood insurance is a specialized insurance policy designed to provide financial protection to property owners and renters in the event of flooding. Texas doesn’t require homeowners to have flood insurance, although if you have a loan on your home, your mortgage company may require you to buy it, particularly if your home is in a high-risk zone on flood maps. It is important to note that standard homeowners’ insurance policies typically do not cover flood damage, which makes purchasing flood insurance an essential consideration for Texas residents.

Where Can I Get Flood Insurance? 

There are two main options for getting flood insurance in Texas, including: 

  • NFIP flood insurance. The most common way residents purchase flood insurance is through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). You can buy NFIP insurance through a participating provider in Texas or directly from FEMA. 
  • Private insurance. Many private insurance companies offer flood insurance policies in Texas. You can reach out to your current provider or explore other insurers.

What Does Flood Insurance Cover in Texas?

The coverage of flood insurance will depend on your specific policy and coverage limits. 

National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)

The NFIP is a federal program administered by FEMA that offers flood insurance to property owners and renters. Flood insurance from the NFIP has maximum coverage limits of $250,000 for your house’s structure and $100,000 for its contents. If you’re a renter, your landlord is responsible for the building structure, and you are limited to $100,000 of personal property coverage. In Texas, NFIP policies generally cover: 

  • Standard home systems, including the electrical system, plumbing, water heater, air conditioner, and furnace;
  • Carpeting and installed features such as bookcases, paneling, and built-in cabinets;
  • A detached garage;
  • Foundation and support structures, such as staircases, as long as they are built into your house;
  • Appliances like your refrigerator and washing machine; and 
  • Personal property, including clothing, furniture, jewelry, and electronics.

As noted above, this is a general list of coverages. An experienced attorney can help review your particular policy and provide guidance as to your coverage. 

There are some exclusions to NFIP coverage as well, which include: 

  • Damage to basement or property kept there; 
  • Damage caused by earth movement, like a sinkhole or landslide; 
  • Car damage; 
  • Certain detached property damage, which can include decks, plants, fences, and patios; and
  • In some cases, damages from flooding caused by sewer backup.

These types of damages may be excluded from your policy, even if the damage to your home is less than your coverage limits.

Private Flood Insurance Policies

Some insurance companies in Texas offer private flood insurance policies that may provide additional coverage options beyond what NFIP policies offer. These private policies can be tailored to your specific needs and circumstances, potentially offering higher coverage limits or different deductible options. For example, private insurers may provide coverage for additional living expenses like hotel stays and restaurant meals if you aren’t able to live in your home. 

How Much Does Flood Insurance Cost?

The cost of flood insurance in Texas can vary based on several factors, including the location and type of property, flood risk, coverage amount, and the deductible you choose. Generally, NFIP flood insurance premiums are standardized and based on risk zones, while private insurance companies may offer competitive rates based on their underwriting criteria. If you are in a high-risk flood zone, private companies may decline coverage. 

Contact an Attorney Today

Flood insurance is a crucial investment for homeowners and renters in Texas, given the state’s susceptibility to flooding events. Here at Armstrong Lee & Baker, we believe in a client-centered approach. Our skilled attorneys possess a depth of knowledge in Texas insurance claims and are prepared to advocate on our client’s behalf. Contact us today for a consultation. 

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Scott Armstrong obtains remarkable results for his clients.  He has successfully tried numerous cases to favorable verdicts and reached significant settlements on his clients’ behalf.  In the process, he has recovered millions for his clients.