Freeport, ME -- With the recent flood damage caused by tropical storm Allison, disaster officials are reminding homeowners throughout Maine that they may purchase flood insurance coverage through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), a part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
"Flooding is the leading cause of property loss from natural disasters in this country," said Louis Sidell, State Floodplain Management Coordinator. "But all too often, homeowners learn after the fact that protection against flood loss is not part of their normal insurance protection package."
These insurance policies typically do NOT cover damages from flooding. Flood insurance must be purchased separately. There is a 30 day waiting period before the policy goes into effect.
Flood insurance can be purchased through your local insurance agent. The NFIP is sold through private insurance companies and is backed by the federal government.
According to the most recent NFIP Report for June 2001, there are 6,971 flood insurance policies in effect in Maine. The average policy is insured for $119,442 and the average premium is $556.
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.