HARRISBURG, Pa. --, October 12, 1999- In the aftermath of late-summer flooding, state and federal officials are reminding homeowners that flood insurance is available through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
"Flooding is the leading cause of property loss from natural disasters in this country," said Jack Schuback, federal coordinating officer for the ongoing disaster-recovery effort in Pennsylvania. "Without the proper insurance, floods can be not only emotionally devastating, but also financially devastating."
A typical homeowner's policy does not cover flood damage. Flood insurance is available to residents and businesses in communities that have agreed to adopt and enforce floodplain management practices to reduce future flood damage.
"Coverage is not only for homes," said Bob Churchman, acting director of the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency. "There are separate policies for contents of homes for homeowners and renters. Businesses may apply for coverage to buildings and their contents, as well as equipment."
The National Flood Insurance Reform Act of 1994 requires homeowners in participating communities who have received disaster-assistance grants to purchase and maintain flood insurance for the life of the property. Otherwise, they may not be eligible for certain types of disaster assistance in the future. Those who obtain federally guaranteed loans must purchase and maintain flood insurance for the life of those loans.
NFIP coverage is available from any insurance agent in your area who is licensed to sell property and casualty insurance. If you can't find an agent who represents NFIP, call the NFIP toll-free number, 1-800-427-4661. The NFIP toll-free number for speech- and hearing-impaired individuals is 1-800-427-5593 (TTY). Operators will direct you to an agent in your area.