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Insurance Not Enough To Rebuild Homes For Some Bastrop County Fire Victims

Updated: Tuesday, September 4 2012, 07:53 PM CDT

For victims of last year's gigantic fire in Bastrop County who had home insurance many found it covered items loss and their mortgage, but not enough to rebuild their homes.

Remnants still remain of some of the 1,700 homes destroyed in the fire. "It just makes you so sad, because it just brings it all back, like it just happened," says Janice Robertson as she looks at what’s left of the home.

"We lost everything we had except the clothes on our back," says Robertson, and like hundreds of other victims she had no insurance. "No insurance, no insurance. I didn't think we would need it and FEMA put us in a hotel for two months and gave us a little bit of help. I was stupid not to have insurance."

According to FEMA, 276 homeowners did not have insurance. That total doesn't include the renters who didn't have protection. And 52 percent of the homes were underinsured by an average of 75,000 dollars.

That forced many to make a choice. "We basically put all the money that we were given for personal property to rebuild the house," says Jennifer Aliff, another Bastrop County resident that lost her home.

Aliff and her boyfriend did rebuild, but they’re still working on replacing all the items inside, damages not covered by their insurance policy.

Her advice for other homeowners - "Not to just go with the bare minimum, go above, because you never have full concept of what you lose, when you go through something like that."

As for Janice Robertson, she's renting and struggling to move on. "I can't even take a drive down 1441 without just getting so upset and that day coming back."

FEMA officials say that of the homes that burned, 747 of them belonged to low income families.

By Lydia Pantazes.Insurance Not Enough To Rebuild Homes For Some Bastrop County Fire Victims

Click here to see more Central Texas Wildfires

Central Texas Wildfires - Bastrop Map

Central Texas Wildfires - Bastrop Map

Bastrop Anniversary Events

Tue. Sept. 4, 6:30 p.m.
A Night of Hope, Hyatt Lost Pines

An evening remembering the last year and looking forward toward a bright future. For tickets and more information contact Jennifer Long, 512-461-9418 or Sponsored by Bastrop County Long Term Recovery Team.

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