As Tropical Storm Harvey continues to dump water on Texas and Louisiana, you may be wondering what kind of insurance can provide financial rescue in these situations - and how far ahead you need to buy it.
Much of the Houston area falls outside those most vulnerable zones and many homeowners who aren't forced to have coverage have made a decision to do without.
"For most Americans and most Louisianans, their largest single investment is their home, and that needs to be protected, and you can't do it with just homeowner's insurance", Kennedy said.
The commission said if individuals receive similar calls, they should contact their flood insurance agent or the agent who handles their homeowner or rental insurance to ask about flood insurance policies.
Current law exacts an 18 percent interest penalty for each year a claim is delayed. For property owners, including Texas businesses who have suffered damage, it is important that they file any insurance claims as soon as possible.
"We think Harvey could help stabilize global reinsurance pricing, but do not expect a major turn in pricing to follow", Kai Pan, an insurance analyst at Morgan Stanley, said in a research note on Monday. "It's a David vs. Goliath battle from the start", said Dallas lawyer Brian Lauten.
In addition, the Department of Housing and Urban Development has block grants for communities damaged by Harvey, although it can take a long time to process them.
Insurance for hurricane damage can involve more than one insurance policy. FEMA should also be required to provide aggregate information about flooding risks to local governments and the public, so they can better prepare for storms.
Lujan says everyone is eligible for a national flood insurance policy, even renters.
By contrast, insurance brokerage stocks, such as Marsh & McLennan Cos Inc, tend to rise immediately after a storm because such companies are not exposed to underwriting risk and a rise in premium rates boosts their commission income. If we become more resilient, either by carrying insurance or not living in flood plains, the lasting impacts of storms like Hurricane Harvey will significantly decrease. In Harris County alone-home to Houston-the NFIP holds more than 240,000 policies, representing more than Dollars 60 billion in coverage. The rest of New Orleans' population resides in areas protected from floods by levees, though in the event of a levee failure, as in Katrina, those areas would also become vulnerable.
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., who represents low-lying areas of downtown Miami and Miami Beach, urged a flood insurance solution that doesn't disproportionately affect coastal residents.
A spokesman for the Federal Emergency Management Agency declined to say how quickly funding would be depleted. I don't believe we should have a system in Texas that promotes litigiousness, but I believe our insurance companies should be held accountable in paying claims promptly and honoring their contracts with the citizens of Texas.
"The price of oil has gone up and down like a yo-yo, and with those ups and downs come a lot of jobs lost over the years", said Mark Hanna, a spokesman for the trade group Insurance Council of Texas.