FEMA to Texans with Post-Harvey Group Flood Insurance: Plan for Standard Coverage

February 27, 2020

Following Hurricane Harvey in late August 2017, the Federal Emergency Management Agency issued three-year group flood insurance policies (GFIPs) to nearly 7,000 households in Texas that were impacted by the storm. FEMA says those policyholders need to plan now for obtaining standard flood insurance.

FEMA issued a total of 6,704 GFIPs in Texas after Harvey; the policies are set to expire on Oct. 24.

Those who received a GFIP policy as part of their FEMA disaster assistance after Harvey but don’t buy a standard flood insurance policy will likely not receive federal disaster assistance for home repairs if they experience another flood event. Just one inch of water can cause $25,000 of damage to a home, according to FEMA.

FEMA said the flood insurance requirements for Harvey households include:

For homeowners who received a GFIP policy: Flood insurance coverage must be maintained for the address of the flood-damaged property. The flood insurance requirement is transferred to any new owner of the address and continues for as long as the address exists. If you sell your home, call the NFIP direct servicing agency at 800-638-6620 to transfer your policy to the new homeowner.

For renters who received a GFIP policy: Flood insurance coverage must be maintained on the contents of the rental property for as long as the renter remains at the flood-damaged address. If you move from your damaged rental property, the flood insurance requirement is not transferred to the next renter.

Hurricane Harvey floodwaters. Photo source: FEMA

Policyholders are urged to contact their insurance agent to discuss the cost of a standard flood insurance policy. Those without an agent can call 800-427-4661 for an insurance agent referral.

The National Flood Insurance Reform Act and FEMA regulations require applicants who receive federal financial assistance to buy and maintain flood insurance as a condition to receive assistance for future flood damage to any insurable property for acquisition or construction purposes.

Harvey impacted 41,500 square miles of Texas. If it rains it can flood, which means all Texans should purchase or renew flood insurance policies.

Source: FEMA

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