As Harvey continues dumping rain upon the Houston area, more than half of the homes and businesses are in “high” or “moderate” risk of flooding — which are not required to carry flood insurance.
The 48 percent who are in “Extreme” or “Very High” risk areas are required to carry flood insurance, but only if they have a federally backed mortgage.
A disaster modeler with Enki Research said it’s likely that less than a third of the predicted losses would be insured; potential damage estimates so far range upward of $10 billion.
“If it was a traditional hurricane it would be a $2 billion storm, maybe $3 billion, but that is not what this storm is about,” said Chuck Watson.
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The National Flood Insurance Program covers policies offered through private insurers and does not cover everything that flood waters may damage. Contents and building coverage are separate coverage.
Flooding is the most common natural disaster in Illinois, with more than 90 percent of declared disasters.
Illinois has had more than 4,400 flood “events” from 1996 through February; Texas had more than 11,600 in the same time frame.