Texas Flooding: Spring 2015, — May 29, 2015 9:07 — 0 Comments

I.I.I. NEWS RELEASE: Texas Is Second Only to Florida in Highest Number of NFIP Policies

More than 40 Percent of FEMA National Flood Insurance Program Policies in Texas Cover Harris County Properties


New York Press Office: (212) 346-5500; media@iii.org
Lynne McChristian, (813) 480-6446, lynnem@iii.org
Elianne González, (954) 389-9517, elianneg@iii.org (for Spanish-language interviews)

HOUSTON, Texas, May 28, 2015 — The deadly flooding that struck Texas and Oklahoma this week has drawn comparisons to 2001’s Tropical Storm Allison, which caused $1.1 billion in insured flood losses, according to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.).

“Because of the high risk of flood, Texas has the second-highest number of NFIP policies in effect nationally, trailing only Florida,” said Lynne McChristian, the I.I.I.’s Catastrophe Response Coordinator, who is currently in the disaster zone in Houston.

Texas homeowners, renters and business owners had 597,951 NFIP policies in-force as of March 15, 2015, according to the federal government’s latest numbers. These policies cumulatively cover property (structure and contents) valued at $157 billion, and the typical Texas NFIP policyholder pays $627 annually for flood coverage acquired through the flood program, which is part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

More than two out of every five (41 percent) Texas NFIP policies are in-force in Harris County (246,646), which includes Houston. Breaking the numbers down further, Houston itself, with 121,171 policies, accounts for 20 percent of the state’s NFIP policies, covering nearly $32 billion of the city’s property from flood damage.

Hays County, where some of the worst flooding has taken place, is the site of 987 NFIP policies, with those coverages protecting $253.5 million in Hays County property from flood damage. Wimberley, one of the communities hardest-hit by this week’s flooding, is in Hays County. There are 166 NFIP policies in effect in Wimberley, which cover Wimberley properties valued at $39.5 million.

“It is unclear at the moment whether the recent severe weather in Texas will rival the damage Allison inflicted on the state in 2001,” McChristian noted. “Allison generated 30,781 flood claims in six states, mainly in Texas. And while that tropical storm, and its aftermath, caused $1.1 billion in flood insurance payouts in 2001, that number is equal to about $1.5 billion in today’s dollars.”



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