Ask Amy: Answering your insurance claim questions after Harvey

By Amy Davis - Reporter/Consumer Expert

HOUSTON - As flood victims get back to their homes and file claims, insurance adjusters are coming into town. Many homeowners have questions about what those adjusters are telling them.

Consumer expert Amy Davis is looking into some of the claims and answering those questions.

About 249,212 homeowners in Harris County have flood insurance through FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program. You would think those policy holders would be in the best position right now to have their losses covered. 

One woman in Lakewood Forest off Highway 249 called Davis because the adjuster her insurance company sent to her home told her a few things that just didn't sound right.

Her home got about eight to 10 inches of water inside from Harvey. She has flood insurance on her personal property and the dwelling. The out of state adjuster her insurance company sent to her home told her that her that appliances are not covered under flood insurance. He also said her policy won't replace her ceramic tile or other items like cookware that was covered in sewer water.

A FEMA representative and a local insurance agent told Davis these statements are not accurate. They said appliances, flooring and personal property are in fact covered by flood insurance. In general, a flood insurance policy on your dwelling covers.

  -  the building and its foundation
  -  the electrical system and plumbing
  -  central a/c equipment, furnaces and water heaters
  -  refrigerators, cooking stoves and built-in appliances
  -  carpeting over an unfinished floor
  -  wood paneling, bookcases and cabinets
  -  window blinds
  -  debris removal

Other property would be covered under her flood insurance personal property coverage.
 
If the adjustor tells you any of these things are not covered by flood insurance, you should get that in writing and take it back to your insurance agent to further investigate. If you are not satisfied with the answers you are getting from the adjustor or your agent, you can file an appeal with FEMA. See page 8 of the National Flood Insurance Claims Handbook.

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