Quincy, MA -- More than 27,000 residents and business owners in the seven eastern Massachusetts counties hit by flooding and storm damage in March and April were covered by the National Flood Insurance Program according to data released today.
"Of this number of insured, there have been approximately 800 claims filed for damages," says Louis H. Botta, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) official coordinating the disaster-recovery effort in Massachusetts. "In the aftermath of this disaster," he points out, "homeowners throughout the Bay State are reminded that they may purchase coverage through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), a part of FEMA."
Stephen J. McGrail, state coordinating officer and director of the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) says, "You can insure your home and all its contents against flooding for less than it costs to insure your car."
Important features of the National Flood Insurance Program are:
- Even if you don't live in a designated flood zone you can purchase flood insurance if your community participates in the NFIP. Anyone can get flooded, and anyone can get flood insurance. More than 90 percent of all Presidentially declared disasters include flooding.
- Flood damage is not covered by homeowner's insurance policies. You can protect your home, business, and belongings with flood insurance. You can insure your home for up to $250,000 for the building and up to $100,000 for the contents.
- Contents coverage is separate. It is not automatically included with building coverage. Ask your agent. Renters can insure their belongings, too.
- Flood insurance pays even when no disaster is declared. Statistically, federal disaster declarations are issued in less than 50 percent of flooding incidents. An NFIP policy will pay for flood damage whether or not there is a federal disaster declaration.
- Flood insurance is affordable. The average flood insurance policy costs a little more than $300 a year for about $100,000 of coverage.
- There is a 30-day waiting period before a flood insurance policy becomes effective. You can purchase flood coverage at any time, but there is a 30-day waiting period after you have applied and paid the premium before the policy becomes effective.
For complete information, call the National Flood Insurance Program toll free at 1-800-720-1090. Homeowners, renters and business owners can call for the name of local agents who handle national flood insurance.