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My home flooded. Now what?

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Mostyn Law is here to answer any questions regarding flood damage. Stay safe Houston and please share these resources with anyone affected.

For homeowners and businesses who have flood insurance, most policies are controlled by the National Flood Insurance Program (“NFIP”) administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (“FEMA”). The NFIP has special rules for making flood claims. To make a claim, you must file a “proof of loss” with your insurance company. The standard deadline to file a proof of loss is 60 days. Read these tips below to protect your right to recover:

  1. Be sure your property is safe before returning. Shut off your gas and electricity for safety. If you are unsure how to do this or unable to do this on your own, contact your service providers for help.
  2. Get your belongings out of the water. Move anything that you can off the floor to avoid further damage to your personal property. List any and all damage you find when cleaning up.
  3. Call or email your insurance agent. If you have flood insurance, your agent will tell you and help you make a claim, and an adjuster will contact you. If you cannot contact your agent to help you make your claim, call your insurance company immediately and report your claim as soon as possible. The sooner you report your claim, the sooner you will get on any wait list there may be to get an adjuster to your home. Review your insurance policy and/or check online to see if there is an email address where claims can be made. If so, this may be your quickest and most efficient option for reporting your claim. Just be sure to follow up until you are assigned a claim number.
  4. Take photos and/or video of the damage to your home, including damaged personal property, structural damage, and standing floodwater levels. It is very important that you document all damage immediately. You’ll need complete records for your insurance claim.
  5. Clean Up! Remember flood waters contain all sorts of debris, including unsanitary items. Wear gloves and clothing you can discard. Take big items such as furniture, comforters, rugs, and carpets outside to dry. Be sure to check with your insurance company before discarding any damaged items. Make sure to shovel any debris and mud out of the house. Disinfect all surfaces. A solution of ¼ cup chlorine bleach and a gallon of water works well to kill germs and prevent mold and mildew. Open doors and windows and use fans to circulate the air. If your power is on run the air conditioner to help remove moisture or use a dehumidifier. Very absorbent items like pillows, stuffed animals, mattresses, and thick carpets will probably need to be thrown out if they have been contaminated with floodwater. Photos, books, and other paper items can be salvaged by carefully rinsing any debris, gently drying and then freezing in plastic freezer bags. This will prevent mildew or discoloration until you have time to clean or have a professional restore the items. Remove sheetrock, plaster, and paneling to at least the flood level. Tarp any roof damage.
  6. When you have the visible damage documented, send any photos and/or videos to your insurance company. Thoroughly document any contact with your insurance company, including the date and time of any calls, who you spoke with, and the general substance of your conversations. For helpful information on filing your flood claim under a Standard Flood Insurance Policy, click here.
  7. If you have a Standard Flood Insurance Policy, you will need to file a Proof of Loss with your insurance company. The Proof of Loss and all required supporting documentation must be filed within 60 days after the date of loss or within any extension of that deadline made in writing by the Associate Administrator for Federal Insurance and Mitigation. This is required before the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) or insurance company will issue any payment. Click here to learn more about the required Proof of Loss and to download the form.
  8. When the insurance company adjuster visits your home to inspect the flood damage, the adjuster may rely on you to provide information regarding the extent of your flood damage. Be sure to tell the adjuster that any damage you point out, documented or discuss is only the damage you have noticed, and there may be other damage that you are unaware of or that is not immediately visible to an untrained eye.
  9. If you disagree with the amount of damage found by the insurance company’s adjuster or the amount the insurance company is paying you for your damage, do not sign the proof of loss attesting to those damages. Remember, by signing a Proof of Loss, you are swearing that the information provided is true and correct. Instead, obtain estimates to repair/replace your property from a trusted contractor to compare with the amount that insurance company is paying, and make sure you are being covered prior to signing a Proof of Loss.
  10. As always, contact Mostyn Law with any insurance claim related questions.
As attorneys representing home and business owners, we have seen the damage, devastation, and disruptions that hurricanes and storms can cause. We have represented thousands of clients against insurance companies that have tried to avoid and delay payment for legitimate losses our clients have incurred.
Do you have property damage related to Hurricane Harvey? We focus on representing the policyholder and making sure you are treated fairly. Contact us today to discuss your claim or if you have any questions. Please use our Free Case Evaluation Form below or call us at 713-714-0000.

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At Mostyn Law, we will fight aggressively to get you all the money you truly deserve.  We always offer free attorney consultations, and we generally work on a contingency fee basis with our clients.  This means, there are no up front costs to you, and you will not pay attorney fees or litigation costs unless we we successfully resolve your case.  

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AMBER A. MOSTYN

Shareholder

Amber Anderson Mostyn was born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas where she attended and graduated from Trinity Valley School. Ms. Anderson received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee with degrees in Anthropology and Spanish. After taking a year off to work in Washington D.C. and traveling to El Salvador, Amber went to the University of Texas Law School in Austin where she received her law degree in 1997. At UT Law School, Ms. Anderson excelled in trial advocacy and received many awards and honors, including induction into the nationally recognized Order of the Barristers.

Ms. Mostyn practices in the fields of personal injury law and wrongful death throughout the state of Texas. Amber has been an adjunct professor at Texas Wesleyan Law School and at South Texas College of Law, where she taught mock trial courses.

Steve and Amber Mostyn live in Houston, Texas, with their two children. They are the proud founders and supporters of The Glenda Jean Mostyn and Joe E. Moreno Educational Foundation. The Mostyn Moreno Foundation supports and operates programs and collaborative efforts across Texas that serve to encourage the abilities of children with special needs.

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Education

Professional activities and memberships

GREGORY F. COX

Attorney

Prior to joining Mostyn Law, Mr. Cox was an attorney with the Provost & Umphrey Law Firm in Beaumont, Texas. He began his law career as a judicial law clerk to Judge Wendell C. Radford in the Eastern District of Texas. Immediately following his judicial clerkship, he worked as an associate at Baker & McKenzie in Dallas, Texas.

Over his legal career, Mr. Cox has worked on a wide variety of litigation matters, including wrongful death, product liability, insurance disputes, commercial litigation, and serious personal injury cases. He also has served as class counsel in several nationwide class action lawsuits.

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Education

Professional activities and memberships

MICHAEL A. BURNS

Attorney, Of Counsel

Mike Burns joined the Mostyn Law team in 2014 and began serving as Of Counsel in 2020.  Mike was hand-selected to serve as Co-Liaison Counsel in the 3M Military Earplug MDL and has extensive experience in the mass tort arena. 

Prior to joining Mostyn Law, he handled numerous criminal and civil cases and has extensive trial experience as a state prosecutor, criminal and civil defense attorney. Additionally, Mike served as special assistant, attorney and Deputy Attorney General under former Florida Governor, Charlie Crist.  He has also served as General Counsel and District Representative for former U. S. Congressman Joe Scarborough.

In the past, Mike has served as an adjunct professor at Nova Southeastern University College of Law instructing in the Criminal Clinic.

When he’s not lawyering, you can find him surfing in his hometown of Pensacola Beach, Florida.   

Admitted

  • Florida (1993)

Education

  • Undergrad University of West Florida, B.A. Political Science (1990)
  • Law School Nova Southeastern University College of Law (1992)

Professional activities and memberships

  • Florida Bar
  • Northern District of Florida US District Court

CATHRYN J. SCHEXNAIDER

Attorney

Cathryn Schexnaider has been employed with Mostyn Law since 2013. Ms. Schexnaider is an Associate Attorney with the firm and has seven years of experience at Mostyn Law litigating first-party insurance cases as well as a variety of personal injury cases in both state and federal court.  Ms. Schexnaider has helped resolve hundreds of lawsuits and has been involved in every aspect of the litigation process, from the inception of the case to the resolution of the lawsuit, either through settlement or trial.  Ms. Schexnaider is dedicated to working diligently for her clients in order to provide the best resolution of their claims.

During her time at UT Law, Ms. Schexnaider interned for the Honorable Ron Clark, District Judge for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas and clerked for the Provost Umphrey Law Firm, LLP in Beaumont.

Ms. Schexnaider is a Beaumont, Texas native and currently resides in Houston, Texas.

Admitted

Education

Professional activities and memberships

  • State Bar of Texas
  • Houston Bar Association
  • Houston Young Lawyers Association