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Harvey's aftermath and insurance claims

Just weeks ago, millions of Texans experienced the most devastating hurricane the country has seen in over a century. The aftermath that ensued is more than overwhelming, as the storm cost the state -- and surrounding states affected by the storm -- billions of dollars in federal relief. On top of the traumatic events that took place as a result of the disaster, many are concerned about impending insurance complications. How many families had preexisting hurricane coverage, and what are the stakes for those that had no protection? 

With Hurricane Harvey's aftermath came the inevitable swarm of media attention, including news that urged victims of the storm to take advantage of insurance claims before those disaster claims expired. Yet contrary to widespread belief, CNBC News alerted its readers that such reports on hurricane claim deadlines were false. And while CNBC acknowledged that a mere 12 percent of homeowners nationwide have flood insurance, the Texas law that went into effect on September 1 applied to lawsuits and not claims. The news outlet also advises victims to prioritize safety over insurance concerns, and to eventually take the following steps:

  • Communicate with insurers regarding storm damage
  • Look to other types of preexisting coverage, such as the National Flood Insurance Program
  • Document any communication with insurers for best accuracy
  • Check for eligible resources from the Federal Emergency Management Agency  

Dallas News provides statistical information on Harvey's aftermath, using expert economical estimates to show that many victims affected by the storm will face the only option of using their own money to repair damages. Experts also predict that this last-resort approach to addressing damages could result in equally damaged consumer industries. Furthermore, most major private insurers of Texas homes only cover wind damage. The millions of Harvey victims dealing with waterlogged homes now face a multitude of insurance-related challenges.    

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