Five Tips from the Texas Department of Insurance

Was your home damaged by Hurricane Harvey? These tips from the Texas Department of Insurance should be helpful in the recovery process.



Depending on the kind of damage your home has and where you live, you may need to file more than one insurance claim. If you need information, have a complaint, or can't locate your agent or company, call our Consumer Help Line at 1-800-252-3439.

Common Policy Deadlines:

  • Flood - 60 days
  • Texas Windstorm - 1 year
  • Homeowners - policies vary so check with your agent

1 | If you have a windstorm policy

If you have a policy with the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association, report those claims at 1-800-788-8247 or 1-877-281-1431. You have one year from the date of damage to file a windstorm claim.

2 | If you have flood insurance

Flood claims must be filed within 60 days so make sure to notify your flood insurer right away to begin the claims process. 

  • Visit the National Flood Insurance Program for information about how to file a claim.
  • Document the damage.
  • Complete a proof of loss statement to support your claim. You must file this within 60 days of the flood damage.

3 | Homeowners claims

Homeowners insurance policies generally don't cover flood damage, but you still may want to file a claim if your home was damaged. Deadlines for filing claims vary by policy, but it’s a good idea to notify your agent or company as soon as you’re aware of damage. Some have deadlines of one year, and others require you to notify them of water damage much sooner.

Your homeowners policy may cover: 

  • Roof damage from a tree hitting your home during the storm.
  • Water damage from rain entering your home if the roof was damaged in the storm.
  • Damage to fences caused by high winds.
  • Spoilage of refrigerated food due to a power outage caused by the storm.
  • Additional living expenses to cover hotels, food, and other expenses if you were ordered to evacuate.

4 | If you have uninsured losses

There are resources that can help you: 

  • Apply at to find out if you can get help from FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency).
  • Homeowners, renters, and small businesses may be eligible for a disaster loan program through the U.S. Small Business Administration.
  • Some mobile home insurance policies provide coverage for flood damage while others do not. Check the language inyour policy or ask your agent.
  • For immediate food and shelter needs, contact the American Red Cross at 1-800-733-2767.

5 | See also: 

  • How do I file a homeowners claim? We walk you through the process, including deadlines and what to do if you disagree with your insurance company’s estimate.
  • My car was flooded: Answers to common questions if your car is flooded.
  • House Bill 1774: The legislation does not change how you file a claim or how your insurer will process your claim.


How You Can Help:

Rebuild Texas Fund

A Texas-sized disaster requires a Texas-sized response. Hurricane Harvey is an unprecedented natural disaster in the state of Texas and will require an unprecedented effort in recovery. To support all of the Texas communities devastated by Hurricane Harvey, the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation is leading the charge to raise $100 million for the Rebuild Texas Fund. Your contribution will help people, organizations, and businesses recover and rebuild in Houston and along the coastal communities of Texas.

For givers, they can rest assured that their dollars are going 100 percent to relief, recovery and rebuild efforts. Administrative costs and people costs are covered by the OneStar Foundation and by the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation. PayPal has also generously agreed to waive processing fees for donations to the Rebuild Texas Fund.


JJ Watt Foundation

Hurricane Harvey has taken a catastrophic toll on our great city, while leaving many stranded and in need of assistance. We must come together and collectively help rebuild the aspects of our community members lives that were damaged or lost. Any donation that you can spare, no matter how large or small, is greatly appreciated.

All monetary donations currently being made are being allocated to the Houston Flood Relief Fund. We will come out of this stronger than ever. We are Texans.


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