Insurance agents in Austin, Texas report the interest in homeowners obtaining flood insurance coverage has risen dramatically after two recent rains that have flooded portions of Austin and neighboring communities.
Roughly 650 homes and businesses were either damaged or destroyed in Austin and Travis County by flood waters in the most recent storm that saw Onion Creek rise to record levels, according to the Insurance Council of Texas.
The National Flood Insurance Program has received nearly 600 flood claims from homeowners and businesses in all of Central Texas from last week’s floods.
The flooding has prompted many people to consider purchasing flood insurance if they haven’t already, according to the Insurance Council.
“Just about everyone who is seeking to renew their homeowner insurance policies has asked about flood insurance coverage,” said Megan Wilkie of the Watkins Insurance Group in Austin. “If they don’t buy it, they are certainly taking a close look at it.”
The majority of homeowners who purchase flood insurance policies have done so because they live in a flood plain and have a mortgage with a bank that requires flood coverage, but statistics from NFIP show roughly one-in-four of homes that are flooded are not located within existing flood plains.
Homeowners, business owners and renters must all obtain a separate flood insurance policy from NFIP to be covered against floods or rising water. Flood policies can be purchased through any insurance agent or company.
“A lot of people think it’s not going to happen to me, but it just takes one clogged sewer drain or nearby construction to have a torrent of water rushing toward your door,” said Jodi Carey of Round Rock/Whorton Insurance Agency.
For cars and trucks, a driver must purchase comprehensive or other than collision coverage. This coverage protects drivers from auto theft, burglary, vandalism, hail and flooding, according to the Insurance Council.
For those living inside a 100-year flood plain, the possibility of flooding always exists.
“It’s amazing how often those 100 year floods occur,” said Mark Hanna, a spokesman for the Insurance Council of Texas.
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