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Which Insurance Policy Does Your Harvey Claim Fall Under?

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Which Insurance Policy Does Your Harvey Claim Fall Under?

If you sustained damage to your home, your business or personal property as a result of Hurricane Harvey, you have probably already been in touch with your insurance company. However, it is important to know which insurer to contact. If your damage was caused by wind or wind-driven water, your claim is likely against your homeowner’s insurance carrier (or perhaps a specific windstorm policy). If your damage was caused by floodwaters, your claim is against your flood insurance carrier.

It makes a difference. Your homeowner’s insurance is most likely written by a “normal” insurance company and is subject to Texas law, including the consumer protections built into the Texas Insurance Code and the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act. Although it may bear the name of an insurance company, flood insurance is actually underwritten by the United States government in accordance with the National Flood Insurance Program, administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Flood insurance is highly regulated and is subject to strict federal rules and deadlines. State law protections for consumers do not apply.

Thankfully, FEMA has already waived the standard 60-day deadline for filing proofs of flood claims. Victims of Harvey now have 365 days from the date of loss to file their proof of claim. See the prior post on our blog titled, “FEMA Issues Memorandum Authorizing Certain Payments Without Proof of Loss and Extending Proof of Loss Deadline” (http://www.my-lawyers.com/Blog/2017/September/FEMA-Issues-Memorandum-Authorizing-Certain-Payme.aspx#~U9N847).

If you are not sure whether your claim should be covered by your homeowner’s insurance or flood insurance, you should give notice to both companies. The lawyers at Raizner Slania, LP have provided good information on this and other Harvey-related topics. See “Hurricane Harvey Insurance Claims Misinformation” (http://www.raiznerlaw.com/blog/2017/08/) and other entries on Raizner Slania’s blog at http://www.raiznerlaw.com/blog.

Murr Yanochik, P.L.L.C. continues to investigate and gather information regarding the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey and are working to assist our friends, families, and neighbors and to protect their rights.