Eighty percent of homeowners that suffered flood damage from Hurricane Harvey ripping through Texas are without flood insurance, the Associated Press reported Tuesday.
Those homeowners will be responsible for restoring their houses and possessions for possibly thousands of dollars after the flood waters recede. Anyone who can’t cover the costs of restoration may have to sell their house.
“There’s going to be a huge uninsured economic loss here,” Mortgage Bankers Association senior vice president Pete Mills told AP.
National Flood Insurance Program insurance policies cover up to $250,000 in rebuilding costs and up to $100,000 to replace personal belongings, The Washington Post reports.
Those without flood insurance are limited to private charities and aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). FEMA aid is limited to $33,300.
“I wish I had flood insurance now,” 58-year-old Houston resident Leroy Moore, told WaPo. “When it’s a choice to make between things and life, sometimes you’ve just got to let the things go and hang on to life.”
Every Texan relying on FEMA aid may not be eligible unless each can prove his house is “damaged so substantially that there’s no area in your house you can live in,” Houston lawyer Saundra Brown told WaPo.
Consumer Federation of America director of insurance Robert Hunter estimates the damage from Harvey is at least $35 billion, around what Hurricane Katrina cost after it hit the Gulf Coast of the US in 2005, according to AP.
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