What Does Texas Flood Insurance Cover? (And Why Do You Need it?)
Flood insurance is one of those things that Texas homeowners may not think about enough.
In the Lone Star State, flooding is a common weather event. Many Texas homes — especially in the Houston area — are prone to flooding.
In coastal areas, tidal surges commonly cause flooding during hurricane season. But even outside hurricane season, prolonged precipitation can cause coastal flooding.
The area around Galveston is most commonly affected by flooding. In 2001, Tropical Storm Allison killed 23 people and caused $5.2 billion in damage, making it the most expensive tropical storm in the U.S. on record.
Flash flooding, river flooding, and dam breaks also occur in various areas of Texas. Flash floods are common near the Louisiana border, especially during the summer. Along the Mexican border, powerful thunderstorms can also cause flash flooding in surrounding neighborhoods.
Fortunately, tropical weather tends to come with a fair amount of warning. But even if you have time to buy a flood insurance policy before a big flood, you may be subject to waiting periods.
At America’s Flood, we’re here to help you understand your flood risk throughout hurricane season in Texas. Here are some easy ways to prepare yourself for Texas flooding this year.
Know Your Specific Flood Risk
First, use FEMA’s Flood Map Service Center to find out what kind of floods your property might be prone to in Texas.
You can sign up for a flood warning system in your community through NOAA, or through a weather app. Smartphones automatically send you severe weather alerts, so make sure you keep this function turned on.
What to Do if You Have to Evacuate During a Flood
If you’re ordered to evacuate your home or business because of a flood, do so immediately — never wait until the last minute to evacuate. Take important papers, food, and pets with you.
Caring for Pets in the Event of a Texas Flood
- Have a shelter and evacuation plan, and make sure it includes taking care of pets and livestock.
- If you have pets, know which shelters will take them if you have to evacuate, or make plans to take them with you.
- If you have larger animals you can’t evacuate, turn them loose on the highest ground you have, put halters with tags on them, or use livestock marking paint to mark them with your phone number. This allows them to move to safety and can be returned to you after the flooding event.
Know Your Evacuation Route
- During a storm, your preferred route might be blocked by floodwater or fallen trees, so be prepared to have more than one way to safety.
- If the roads are clogged and many people are also trying to get out of the area, allow plenty of time for traffic.
- Don’t walk, swim, or drive through flood water or cross bridges over fast-moving water.
Prepare a Go Bag
- Make sure to prepare a “go bag” that includes medications, non-perishable food, and your most important paperwork including things like house deeds, insurance certificates, and identification.
- Have enough food and water to last you for several days in case you’re stranded at home.
- It’s best to have several days of non-perishable food on hand at all times during hurricane season.
- Store your go-bag somewhere where you can quickly access it on your way out the door.
Preparing Your Home or Business for Flooding in Texas
- Move valuable possessions and paperwork to a higher part of the house, and put them in waterproof containers if you’re leaving them behind.
- Declutter all your drains and clean your gutters regularly — blocked gutters can cause significant damage as water is directed to the foundations of your property.
- If you have a basement, install a sump pump with a battery and remove any items out of your basement as you safely can.
- Consider purchasing a generator if Texas storms routinely leave you without power, especially if you have a well. But only use a generator outside and away from your windows.
- Get a crank-operated weather radio in case you lose power and your cell phone goes dead. Make sure you know how to get to the right station using the guides that come along with the radio.
- If you’re evacuating and have time to do so, turn off all appliances, then turn off the electricity, gas, and main water valves. This will help reduce damage if your house is flooded.
- Take time to listen to local authorities about when it’s safe to return home. Be ready with cleaning supplies in case your home was damaged.
- When cleaning up after a flood make sure to wear heavy gloves, sturdy boots, and face coverings. Watch out for animals that might have entered your house to seek shelter — especially snakes.
What is Covered Under a Flood Insurance Policy in Texas?
Flood insurance protects against loss of property and structural damage to your home or business. In the event of a flood, you can get flood insurance to cover a building (structural) and contents (personal/business property).
The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) covers up to $250k for building coverage and $100k actual cash value in personal property damage. For commercial policies, the NFIP offers up to $500k in coverage.
We want to help you to get the most out of your coverage and to feel fully protected no matter what happens. That’s why America’s Flood has access to both the NFIP and private markets, which will always get you the best policy possible.
Call America’s Flood Insurance to Get the Coverage You Need
The best way to prepare for a flood in Texas is to have a flood insurance plan before a flood hits.
Far too many Texas homeowners don’t realize they need flood insurance until it’s too late, and they’re facing a huge bill or devastating damages.
Make sure you also know what your regular homeowners’ insurance will cover and what it won’t — especially in terms of temporary housing and relocating during a flood.
If you live in Houston, Galveston, or other flood-prone areas of Texas, you need the best flood insurance to protect your home.