RALEIGH, N.C. -- Flood insurance has had a significant role in softening the impact of Hurricane Floyd on North Carolinians.
The latest figures show that 2,247 policyholders under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) have received payment of their claims for flood damages in the amount of $53,707,432; another 9,753 policyholders have filed claims and are awaiting payments.
Residents of 405 communities in North Carolina are eligible to buy NFIP flood insurance and there are 77,649 policies in effect in the state's declared areas.
Federal officials believe that the number of North Carolina policyholders should be much higher and are urging other property owners to contact their insurance companies to inquire about purchasing policies. Below are some details of coverage. You can also get detailed information online at the FEMA web site, or by calling 1-800-427-4661.
What types of property may be insured against flood loss? Almost every type of walled and roofed building that is principally above ground and not entirely over water may be insured if it is in a participating community. In most cases, this includes "manufactured" (mobile) homes anchored to permanent foundations (contents can be put under separate coverage). Travel trailers, converted buses, and vans generally cannot be insured.
What other kinds of property are not insurable under the NFIP? Buildings entirely over water or principally below ground, gas and liquid storage tanks, animals, birds, fish, aircraft, wharves, piers, bulkheads, growing crops, shrubbery, land, livestock, roads, machinery or equipment in the open, and motor vehicles are not insurable. Contents and finishing materials located in a basement or in enclosures below the lowest elevated floor of an elevated building may not be covered.
What flood losses are covered? The Standard Flood Insurance Policy (SFIP) forms define the coverages. Direct physical losses by "flood" are covered. Also, losses resulting from flood-related erosion caused by waves or currents of water activity exceeding anticipated cyclical levels, or caused by a severe storm, flash flood, abnormal tidal surge, or the like, which result in flooding, as defined. Also, damage caused by mudslides (i. e., mudflows) as specifically defined in the policy forms. What is the coverage for basements and enclosed areas beneath the lowest elevated floor?Foundation elements, including posts, pilings, piers, or other support systems for elevated buildings; basement and enclosure utility connections, certain mechanical equipment necessary for the habitability of the building such as furnaces, hot water heaters, clothes washers and dryers, food freezers, air conditioners, heat pumps, electrical junctions, and circuit breaker boxes. Finished structural elements such as paneling and linoleum, and contents such as rugs and furniture are not covered. (The NFIP definition of "basement" is any part of a building having its floor subgrade (below ground level) on all sides.
Are losses from land subsidence, sewer backup, or seepage of water covered? These losses are covered only if : (a) there is a general and temporary condition of flooding in the area. (b) the flooding is the proximate cause of the land subsidence, sewer backup, or seepage of water. (c) the land subsidence (sinking), sewer backup, or seepage damage occurs no later than 72 hours after the flood has receded. (d) the building was insured, at the time of the loss, for at least 80 percent of its replacement cost or the maximum amount of insurance available under the NFIP.
Does the NFIP apply a deductible to losses? A minimum deductible is applied separately to a building and its contents although both may be damaged in the same flood. Higher deductibles are available. Optional higher deductibles reduce policy premiums but have to be approved by the mortgage lender.
Are costs of pre...