Seattle, Wash. -- Wet weather offers fair warning of flood season, and disaster officials are reminding homeowners that they may purchase flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). But do not delay. Unless you are in the process of closing on a home loan with mandated flood insurance (in which case the policy is effective the day the loan closes), there is a 30-day waiting period before the coverage takes effect.
According to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) regional director David L. de Courcy, informed homeowners buy flood insurance. "Flooding is the leading cause of property loss due to natural disasters," said de Courcy. "Local floodplain ordinances outline common-sense construction standards like elevating and anchoring houses. Protecting floodways and restricting dangerous floodplain use continually reduces the amount and cost of annual floods. It's good stewardship."
Flood insurance is available to residents of communities which have agreed to adopt and enforce sound floodplain management practices, and according to de Courcy, virtually every community in the Pacific Northwest qualifies. "By aggressively managing their floodplains, our local officials guarantee property-owner access to affordable flood insurance, while reducing future flood damage. National flood insurance is all about taking action before disaster strikes, and reinforces our nation-wide Project Impact: Building Disaster-Resistant Communities initiative."
Flood insurance covers structural elements and contents for all residential and non-residential buildings. Policies can be purchased from any licensed insurance agent or broker. For more information about the NFIP, call toll free: 1-800-427-9662.
De Courcy did caution victims of previous floods who were required to buy flood insurance to qualify for disaster assistance not to allow their policies to lapse, or they would be disqualified from future federal assistance.