For homeowners dealing with flood damage from Hurricane Harvey, now comes the tough part---dealing with insurance claims. Flood insurance is a tricky business, and those dealing with it for the first time need to be aware of some important facts. First of all, most insurance payouts have to first be approved by the holder of the mortgage. This is in order to make sure that the mortgage holder can verify the money is actually being used to make the necessary repairs.
Another key factor for homeowners to remember is that nearly anything under your roof can be covered by a flood insurance claim. "The most difficult part of settling an insurance claim is the very final check that you'll get, and that's dealing with the personal property loss that you've got inside your house," says Mark Hanna, spokesman for the Insurance Council of Texas. He tells KTRH that you need to go through the house and make note of everything lost or damaged. "Unless you've already done a home inventory and have pictures and video of everything, it's difficult and time consuming," says Hanna. "And (the insurance company) is going to want you to put down everything you lost, and try to come up with some type of value for everything." He adds that most flood insurance policies have a $100,000 maximum for personal property losses.
Ultimately, Hanna stresses the importance of being as thorough as possible during the process. "You want to document everything, you want to document all the type of work you've already done in cleaning out your house, and again your personal property loss," he says. And perhaps the biggest advice of all in dealing with a long and frustrating process---stay patient. "Talk with your agent or insurance adjustor, just make temporary repairs for right now--but stay in communication with those folks," says Hanna. "Don't get ahead of the insurance adjustor on all of this."