Flood Insurance Save Stephenson Family From Financial Ruin

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Release date: 
November 29, 1999
Release Number: 
1293-72

Hurricane Floyd ruined Bill and Debbie Stephenson's home in Isle of Wight Virginia, when heavy rains caused the nearby Blackwater River to overflow. But the hurricane didn't bring financial ruin to the family - because they had flood insurance.

"It was well worth the premium," said Bill Stephenson, who at one point could dock a boat on the roof of his home because the flood waters were so high.

The Stephenson's flood insurance premium is about $300 a year. Damage to their home was estimated at $190,000.

Flood damage is not covered by regular homeowners insurance.

Nearly 66,000 Virginians in 258 communities have flood insurance on their property, according to statistics available from the National Flood Insurance Program in Washington, D.C.

They're the lucky ones. Some 43,000 homes sustained some degree of damage from Floyd, according to federal/state surveys. The National Flood Insurance Program expects to pay between $300 and $350 million in flood insurance claims for Floyd, from states ranging from Florida to Maine.

Those without flood insurance - and many did not - face rebuilding with Small Business Administration loans and small federal disaster grants.

The National Flood Insurance Program is overseen by FEMA. It offers flood insurance for up to $250,000 for the building and $100,000 for contents. Flood insurance can be purchased through insurance agents.

Last Updated: 
July 16, 2012 - 18:46
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