To Our Farmers and Ranchers -
In the aftermath of last week’s hurricane and flooding, we are trying to sort through and make sense of resources that may be important to you, your family and your business.
Before you apply for anything, we encourage you to read the urgent notice sent out by FARFA with important updates regarding your insurance and claims for any damage:
After you have secured your own safety and that of your animals, there are two immediate steps that you should take:
1. Document the damage as quickly as possible
Preferably before the water recedes, and definitely before you begin any cleanup, carefully document any damage to your property. Take pictures of everything before you do anything else. As you start cleaning up, document everything you do. A good option is to keep notes in a spiral notebook or binder so that you have everything in one place.
2. Send a written notice of intent to your insurance agent
If you have property insurance (whether it is a homeowners' policy or a farm policy), send written notice of your intent to file a claim by Thursday at midnight.
It can be a very short letter or email, simply stating that you have suffered damage and intend to file a claim, and preferably including your policy number. A phone call is not enough, but you can submit the notice through the company's website if they provide that option. Keep a copy of the website confirmation page, your email, or your letter, so you can prove you submitted the notice in writing.
A new state law goes into effect on Friday that will make it harder to sue insurance companies for denying, lowballing, or delaying claims for property damage from natural disasters- thus reducing the incentive for insurance companies to treat you fairly. The new law doesn't affect your ability to file a claim, but it may affect how your insurer treats your claim.
Read more about the insurance law changes in this Texas Tribune article.
A fundraising campaign is forthcoming through Texas Local Food with assistance from SFC, TOFGA, FARFA, Texas Farmers Market, Central Texas Young Farmers Coalition and NCAT. If you, or a farmer/rancher you know, needs disaster relief or has been affected please email SFC at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com with pictures or stories that can help this campaign show people what they are donating funds for.
Take care of yourselves!
Your Farmer DirectTeam