Report: Majority of Harvey victims do not have flood insurance

HOUSTON — The historic flooding along the Gulf Coast is causing billions in damage. Many people have lost their homes and it appears most of them do not have flood insurance.

"There's a lot of uncertainty right now."

Chuck Watson with Enki Holdings tracks the financial impact of natural disasters and said most mortgage companies require government flood insurance only for homes within designated flood zones.

"It appears that two thirds of the damage happened outside of those flood zones," he told CBS News.

The Insurance Information Institute said only 15 percent of the homes in Houston's largest county have flood insurance. After previous storms like Katrina and Sandy, the government stepped into help uninsured homeowners, but it can be difficult to get paid.

"It's agonizing. It can take weeks and months, and during Sandy it took years."

CBS News Senior Business Analyst Jill Schlesinger said anyone who is at risk of flooding should be prepared for the worst.

"Everyone should have an inventory list of the contents of their home with pictures."

That could speed up a claim or government aid, and help those who've lost everything rebuild.