OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Nobody can stop a flood. Nobody can erase the bad memories and financial loss. But having flood insurance can go a long way toward helping put the pieces back together.
That is the message that state and federal disaster recovery officials are sending to Maryland residents in the aftermath of Hurricane Floyd. Officials are urging homeowners and renters to purchase flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Floods are caused by many events -- hurricanes, storms, melting snow, or dam or levee failure.
What you should know about flood insurance:
- Flood damage is not covered by any homeowners insurance policy. You can protect your home, business and belongings with flood insurance. You can insure your home up to $250,000 for the building and up to $100,000 for the contents. Renters can also insure their belongings.
- Business owners can insure up to $500,000 on the building and $500,000 on contents.
- You can purchase flood insurance if your community participates in the NFIP even if you do not live in a flood zone. More than 90 percent of all federal disasters include flooding.
- Less than 50 percent of flooding incidents are declared federal disasters. An NFIP policy pays for flood damages whether or not there is a federally declared disaster.
- You can purchase flood coverage at any time, but there is usually a 30-day wait before the policy becomes effective.
- NFIP flood insurance is sold through private insurance companies and agents, and is backed by the federal government. Check with an insurance agent for policy prices.
For more information, call the National Flood Insurance Program toll free at 1-800-720-1090.