September 01, 2017
The thoughts and prayers of the Taylor Porter family are with the victims of Hurricane Harvey and all those affected by the widespread flooding and storm damage in Texas. As your recovery begins, we want to share important information with you to help you rebuild your businesses and homes.
It is hard to believe that 12 years ago, Louisiana experienced the life-changing effects of Hurricane Katrina, and many Texas residents and businesses were there to lend support and help our state's residents get back on their feet. So in turn, to not only our Texas clients, but all victims of Hurricane Harvey, we are here for you now as we offer our help and guidance to our friends in Texas to help you rebuild and recover.
For any legal needs and questions as you begin the recovery process, do not hesitate to contact our Taylor Porter attorneys, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-225-387-3221.
Please see below a list of web sites and disaster recovery tips to help you during this time:
Helpful News Articles
- "Here's What You Need to Know About Filing Harvey-Related Insurance Claims," The Texas Tribune
- "Harvey's Impact: This is How Much It's Going to Cost Houston," Houston Business Journal
- "How to Get Your FEMA Applications Through," Houston Business Journal
- "What to Do if Your Houston Home Flooded During Hurricane Harvey," Houston Business Journal
- "Post-Harvey FAQ on Insurance, Assistance, Housing, Health, Schools, Utilities and More," Houston Chronicle
SBA (Small Business Administration) Hurricane Harvey Recovery Information
SBA is actively coordinating with FEMA, Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Departments of Energy and Labor, as well as State and local partners to support the recovery of citizens impacted by Hurricane Harvey. When you're ready to think about next steps, start by contacting FEMA for recovery assistance in the form of grants. Register for FEMA assistance at www.disasterassistance.gov or call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362).
How SBA Can Help
SBA offers low-interest, long-term disaster loans to small businesses of all sizes, private non-profit organizations, homeowners, and renters to repair or replace uninsured/underinsured disaster damaged property. Loan amounts and terms are set by SBA and are based on each applicant's financial condition. SBA will be alongside FEMA at Disaster and Business Recovery Centers, providing assistance to disaster survivors. At the centers, disaster survivors will be able to apply in person, and get counseling on the next steps toward recovery.
How to Apply
Apply online, in-person at a disaster center, or by mail. A loan officer will determine your eligibility during processing, after reviewing any insurance or other recoveries. SBA can make a loan while your insurance recovery is pending. A
- As a business of any size, you may borrow up to $2 million for physical damage.
- As a small business, small agricultural cooperative, small business engaged in aquaculture, or private non-profit organization you may borrow up to $2 million for Economic Injury.
- As a small business, you may apply for a maximum business loan (physical and/or economic injury) of $2 million.
- As a homeowner you may borrow up to $200,000 to repair/replace your disaster damaged primary residence.
- As a homeowner or renter, you may borrow up to $40,000 to repair/replace damaged personal property.
Free Legal Assistance
As part of the overall disaster response and relief plan activated by the Louisiana State Bar Association, in collaboration with the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division, the Louisiana Civil Justice Center, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) survivors of the August 2017 disaster who need legal advice may take advantage of free legal counseling via a toll-free hotline at 1-800-310-7029. The hotline's hours are Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Legal assistance will be provided to low-income flood victims and/or victims who have been financially impacted as a result of the floods. Counseling is offered on the following legal issues, including, but not limited to:
- Insurance Claims
- Landlord-Tenant Issues
- Home-Repair Contracts
- Consumer-Protection Matters
- Replacement of Legal Documents Destroyed by the Storm
- FEMA Issues
FEMA web site
How do I Apply for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Assistance?
Link to FEMA Disaster Registration Form
Documents and materials you need:
- Social Security number
- Address of location where the damage occurred (pre-disaster address)
- Current address
- Current telephone number
- Insurance information
- Total household annual income
- Routing and account number for your checking or savings account (this allows FEMA to directly transfer disaster assistance funds into your account). The routing and account number information can be found on personal checks, on your online banking account page or by contacting your bank.
- A description of your disaster-caused damage and losses
What if My Car Was Affected by Flooding?
Flood Damage Claim Tips
- Call the claim in immediately. Time is of the essence in regards to a flood damage claim. Contact your insurance company’s claim service as soon as possible if your insurance agent’s office is not available. Especially in a catastrophic claim situation, you want to be first in line to get your claim processed.
- Get the vehicle dried out as soon as possible. The sooner your vehicle gets dried out the better your chances of avoiding a total loss situation. Do not try to dry your vehicle on your own. Be sure to contact the appropriate professionals.
Does Car Insurance Cover Flood Damage?
- Comprehensive insurance - If your vehicle sustains water or flood damage, you can file a claim under your comprehensive insurance coverage, which may cover any type of damage to your car up to its actual cash value that's caused by natural disasters instead of accidents.
- Rental car reimbursement - Depending on your situation, rental reimbursement coverage is a wise choice or a waste. If you have a second car or a way to get where you need to go without your car, you don't need rental coverage. But if you'd be left stranded for weeks while your car is being repaired, it may pay to have it. Rental reimbursement coverage, if included in your policy, pays you a certain amount of money per day or per week for a rental car to drive while your car is being repaired.
If you have comprehensive coverage through your vehicle policy, you should talk with your agent about whether your policy provides coverage for flooding damage. Your homeowner's policy ordinarily does not cover your vehicle in a flood situation. Some federal disaster assistance programs may help with vehicles that are damaged by flood.
(Click here for Proof of Loss Claim Forms)
How can you Help
When disaster strikes, every little bit helps. To make the most of your contributions, please follow FEMA guidelines to learn the most effective and safest ways to donate cash, goods, or time following a disaster. A financial contribution to a recognized disaster relief organization is the most effective donation to make. When the public supports these voluntary organizations with financial contributions, it helps ensure a steady flow of important services to the people in need after a disaster. If you need help in determining who to give to, the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster website has a list of major non-profits active in disaster work or contact your FEMA Voluntary Agency Liaison for guidance.
To help people affected by the storm, visit @nvoad’s page for a listed of trusted organizations: https://txvoad.communityos.org/cms/node/104
- Cash is best. Financial contributions to recognized disaster relief organizations are the fastest, most flexible, and most effective method of donating. Organizations on the ground know what items and quantities are needed, often buy in bulk with discounts and, if possible, purchase through area businesses which supports economic recovery.
- Confirm donations needed. Critical needs change rapidly – confirm needed items BEFORE collecting; pack and label carefully; confirm delivery locations; arrange transportation. Unsolicited goods NOT needed burden local organizations’ ability to meet survivors’ confirmed needs, drawing away valuable volunteer labor, transportation, and warehouse space.
- Connect to volunteer. Trusted organizations operating in the affected area know where volunteers are needed, and can ensure appropriate volunteer safety, training, and housing.
National Flood Insurance Program
Steps To File A Claim
- Step One: Notify Your Insurer
- After experiencing a flood, contact your agent or insurance company to file a claim. Make sure you have the following information handy:
- The name of your insurance company
- Your policy number
- A telephone and/or email address where you can be reached at all times
- An adjuster should contact you within a few days of filing your claim. If you do not hear from an adjuster, you can contact your insurance agent or company again.
- Step Two: File Your Claim
- Separate damaged from undamaged property. Your adjuster will need evidence of the damage to your home and possessions to prepare your repair estimate.
- Take photographs of all of the damaged property, including discarded objects, structural damage, and standing floodwater levels.
- Make a list of damaged or lost items and include their date of purchase, value, and receipts, if possible.
- Officials may require disposal of damaged items so, if possible, place flooded items outside of the home.
- Step Three: Complete a Proof of Loss to Support Your Claim
- Your adjuster will assist you in preparing a Proof of Loss (which is your sworn statement of the amount you are claiming including necessary supporting documentation) for your official claim for damages. A Proof of Loss can be many things, but must contain the specific details set forth in the Standard Flood Insurance Policy. You'll need to file your Proof of Loss with your insurance company within 60 days of the flood. This document substantiates the insurance claim and is required before the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) or insurance company can make payment.
- You'll receive your claim payment after you and the insurer agree on the amount of damages and the insurer has your complete, accurate, and signed Proof of Loss. If major catastrophic flooding occurs, it may take longer to process claims and make payments because of the sheer number of claims submitted.
- Unsatisfied With Your Claim Payment?
- If after you recieve a denial letter (for all or some of your flood insurance claim) from your insurer you are unsatisfied with the dollar amount being offered for flood-loss repairs or replacements, you may explore other options. These options are only available for policyholders who have received a denial letter.
- Need Additional Assistance?
- If you still have claim questions, try searching this site or glancing through the page titles on the left side of this page (in the navigation menu) to look for answers. If that doesn't help, visit our Got a Problem? page.
Social Media Links
Texas Emergency Management Offices
In anticipation of Hurricane Harvey making landfall in the Gulf Coast region, Governor Greg Abbott declared a State of Disaster for 30 Texas counties. Check your county's emergency management website for updates, evacuation routes, and other resources.
Texas Office of the Governor: Hurricane Resources
Louisiana Emergency Preparedness
In anticipation of Hurricane Harvey making landfall in the Gulf Coast region, Governor John Edwards declared a State of Emergency for the entire state of Louisiana. Follow the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness on social media, and bookmark the state emergency website for updates: