London, KY -- In the aftermath of recent flooding from severe storms during March, April and May, federal and state disaster officials are reminding residents that they may purchase flood insurance coverage through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), a part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
"Year in and year out, flooding is the leading cause of property loss from natural disasters in this country," said Mike Bolch, FEMA's federal coordinating officer. "But all too often, homeowners and renters learn too late that protection against flood loss is not part of their normal insurance protection package."
Flood insurance can be purchased through local insurance agents. The NFIP is sold through private insurance companies and is backed by the federal government.
"Generally, you can insure your home and all its contents against flooding for less than it costs to insure your car," added Cash Centers, Kentucky's state coordinating officer.
Important facts about the National Flood Insurance Program:
- Everyone can, and should, have flood insurance. 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 but
you must reside in a community that participates in the NFIP to be eligible
for flood insurance.
- 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 also can insure their belongings.
- Flood insurance pays even when no disaster is declared. Statistically,
federal disaster declarations are issued in less than half of all flooding
incidents. An NFIP policy will pay for flood damage whether or not there
is a federal disaster declaration.
- Flood insurance is affordable. Flood insurance policies can costs
less than $200 a year depending on the value of the property and the
- 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 before the policy becomes effective.
- Additional flood protection measures can result in a lower insurance premium. By taking flood protection measures beyond what is called for in the local flood plain management ordinance, you most often can purchase flood insurance at a lower rate.
For more information, please call the National Flood Insurance Program toll free number at 1-888-CALL-FLOOD. Names of local agents who handle national flood insurance are also available.
Those affected by the recent severe storms and flooding are reminded to register for disaster assistance by calling FEMA's hotline, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 for the hearing impaired.