Local homeowners reviewing insurance policies in response to Harvey flooding

Hurruicane Harvey costs in Texas seen at catastrophic levels with many uninsured

Texas flooding: What isn't covered, and why it matters to Florida

Insurance experts say only a small fraction of homeowners in Harvey's path of destruction have flood insurance.

"It's good because any time there's rising water from the ground up, that's flood insurance, and your homeowners insurance will not cover that", Farmer said. This was allegedly to limit insurance abuses.

Governor Abbott gave a statement saying he isn't changing the the bill, and that it won't affect the claims involved in Harvey, stating that every valid claim will be paid regardless of when it's filed. This is pernicious because it incentivizes insurance companies to drag out the payment process.

The bill also specifies that consumers who choose to leave the NFIP to purchase private insurance won't lose continuous coverage status if they have either an NFIP or private policy, which stakeholders say is critical to ensuring consumers aren't unfairly penalized for shopping for better policy options in the private market. It also had the backing of Texans for Lawsuit Reform, which said the new law would reduce the number of lawsuits filed by what it referred to as "storm-chasing lawyers" and save consumers money.

JAIME BOTELLO: I don't have the insurance for the flood.

"We won't know all the impacts for a long time and that's got to be really stressful for business owners", said Dalton.

Loretta Worters, a spokesperson for the Insurance Information Institute, said floods do have a least one positive effect: They convince people who had shrugged off the risk to their homes to buy policies.

According to NOAA's Storm Prediction Center, preliminary reports of 21 tornadoes were recorded in Texas from Friday night through Saturday, including one in Sienna Plantation early Saturday morning that ripped off roofs and caused severe tree damage.

In total, Harris County residents were paying premiums on nearly 250,000 flood insurance policies in June, down from almost 275,000 policies at the end of 2012. As a result, people had stopped worrying and chose to use money they would have spent for insurance premiums on other items. Commercial insurance policies, particularly those covering large and complex properties, may provide some coverage for flood as a covered peril.

Even though the damage is still being assessed, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott proclaimed the disaster region to be "far larger" than the areas affected by Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy.

Houston insurance attorney, Steve Mostyn said his firm has received almost 600 calls of people asking what they need to do before the law comes into play. Much larger future installments will be required but the initial package, to replenish Federal Emergency Management Agency disaster coffers through September 30, shouldn't be controversial. A lot of them are going to set up special numbers or websites just for this disaster to make sure they can expedite those claims.

Adding to the problem is that even though there are mandatory flood insurance zones, this only applies to people who have a federal mortgage.

Insurers in the Lone Star State are bracing for a tidal wave of claims in the aftermath of Harvey.

"I would suggest getting a quote on flood insurance". Given the scope of the event, it will be hard to determine final damage assessments as the top priority remains on rescue efforts throughout southeast Texas. Robert Hunter is a former Texas insurance commissioner.

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