Car damaged in flood? Financial aid may be available

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There may be federal help available for victims who still don't have a way to get around town.

If you lost your car in April because of the historic flooding, you may be eligible for federal disaster aid.

If you live or were visiting areas within the federal disaster declaration between April 17 and April 24, you can apply for federal grants or low interest loans to fix your vehicle or buy a new one.

Angel Gonzalez's Greenspoint apartment hardly has any walls left after the Tax Day flood. The drywall and insulation was removed down to the studs and he doesn't have much furniture or clothing left.

"This bed has grown mold under it. We don't have no other bed to use," Gonzalez said. It's not a good situation for him or his mother, who is battling cancer. Gonzalez doesn't even have a way to get around town after his truck flooded.

"It got wet up to here, so I had to switch all the fluids out. The good thing is I know how to do basic mechanic work," he said, while pointing underneath the hood. He recently lost his job and when he tried to take the bus, he was mugged at the bus stop. A paperwork glitch means he will have to reapply for FEMA help, which could help cover truck repairs.

According to FEMA, you may be eligible for disaster aid assistance to cover vehicle repairs if:

  • At the time of the flood, your car must meet all state laws regarding title, vehicle registration, and insurance.

  • You must have had at least liability insurance at the time of the flood. If you register for aid, you must submit proof to FEMA that you have liability coverage.

  • If you have comprehensive coverage, you first need to file a claim with your insurance company first. Federal disaster assistance may help fill the gaps for those whose comprehensive policy does not pay for any or all storm-related costs.

  • You should apply for a U.S. Small Business Administration loan and it's important for you to submit your application. Homeowners and renters may be eligible to borrow up to $40,000 to repair or replace personal property, including damaged or destroyed vehicles.

  • Keep all your paperwork because the assistance is only available if your vehicle was damaged in the storms or flooding from April 17-24. You have to submit an itemized document showing damage to the cars was storm-related and a receipt, estimate or verifiable bill of the repair or replacement costs.

If your car was damaged during the flood, FEMA recommends that you register for assistance.

You can apply in person at a Disaster Recovery Center. Click here for more information.
Related Topics:
newshouston floodflash floodingHouston
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