London, KY -- Every year, more homes in the U.S. are damaged by floods than by any other natural disaster, a fact well known to residents of eastern Kentucky after storms flooded the region in March. The storms resulted in the President declaring a major disaster that included 24 counties for Individual Assistance. Since then six more counties have been added to that group, bringing to 30 the number of counties impacted.
Disaster officials are reminding homeowners throughout Kentucky that they should purchase flood insurance coverage through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), to reduce future flood losses. The program is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
There are 19,836 Kentucky NFIP policyholders in 303 communities with coverage amounting to $1.6 billion.
"Flood damage---unlike wind damage---is not covered by homeowner's or business insurance policies," State Coordinating Officer Cash Centers said. "This coverage must be purchased separately and is available only in communities that participate in the NFIP. And people need to keep in mind that there is a 30-day waiting period before a new flood insurance policy becomes effective."
Federal Coordinating Officer Mike Bolch also had a warning for people who think they can rely on federal disaster assistance in lieu of flood insurance.
"Disaster assistance is only available when the President issues a major disaster declaration that includes Individual Assistance," Bolch said. "Even then, it is quite limited---and usually in the form of a loan that must be repaid, with interest. It is hardly a substitute for flood insurance, which also covers losses from small, localized flood events."
Flood insurance can be purchased through local insurance agents. For more information, call NFIP at 1-888-CALL -FLOOD, EXT. 314.