How to file for loss of property following winter storm

Tori Duff

Editor's Note: This story first appeared in The Daily Texan's February 26 print edition.

Students who experienced flooding or power outages resulting in property damage or food loss during the winter storm may be eligible to be reimbursed or receive disaster assistance. 

Legal Services for Students in the Office of the Dean of Students is offering consultations to students to help answer questions related to leases. These services are free to currently enrolled students. Students can request a consultation by filling out the intake form on the Office of the Dean of Students website or by calling 512-471-7796.

According to a tweet from the Office of the Dean of Students, there may be delays in scheduling appointments due to a high volume of students needing assistance.

How to gather evidence of property damage

When filing a loss of property claim, which covers food, document all evidence of loss possible. This includes taking photos of lost property or food and saving any receipts for lost items, which will help to get an accurate reimbursement.

Available resources if you have renters insurance

Some apartments will not assume risks of damage and require tenants to acquire personal renters insurance to cover the costs of damages, including by storm, flooding or power outages. An apartments renters insurance policy should be stated in the lease signed by tenants.

Some renters insurance policies will cover loss of food or property due to winter storms or weather. Coverage and amount reimbursed will often vary depending on the renters policy.

If only filing a claim for food damage, it might not always be worth it because of deductibles, according to Forbes. However, if food damage is part of a larger claim, it could be worthwhile if the monetary amount lost exceeds the deductible.

Available resources if you don’t have renters insurance

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is offering assistance to people who have experienced damages and are uninsured as a result of winter storms in Texas, according to a Feb. 20 press release.  

The West Campus zip code, 78705, is currently eligible for severe weather storms assistance, as is the Riverside zip code, 78741, according to FEMA. These claims can be filed online at disasterassistance.gov or those impacted by winter storms can call 800-621-3362.

FEMA requires proof of identification, an insurance determination letter and proof of occupancy or ownership at property where the damage took place in order to file a claim