Williston, VT -- You don't need to live near water to be flooded. Flooding can be caused by storms, melting snow, water backup from inadequate or overloaded drainage systems and dam or levee failure.
Unfortunately, many homeowners and business owners do not discover until too late that their general hazard policy does not provide coverage if damaged by flooding. You can protect your home, business and belongings with flood insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) if your community participates in the NFIP. Contact any private insurance company and ask about flood insurance or call the NFIP at 1-800-427-4661 for additional information. There is a 30-day waiting period before the coverage goes into effect.
If your community participates in the NFIP, you may buy flood insurance. It doesn't matter if you have been flooded before, live in a flood zone or if your flood risk is high, medium, or low. Almost 25 percent of all flood insurance claims come from low- to moderate-risk areas. Check with your local officials to see if your community participates in the NFIP.
Flood insurance is affordable. The average flood insurance policy costs approximately $360 a year for $100,000 of coverage. A policy for a dwelling in low- to moderate-risk areas may be as low as $106 a year. Under the NFIP, a maximum coverage of $250,000 for single-family homes and multifamily residences is available. Both renters and homeowners can buy contents coverage up to $100,000. Maximum coverage for businesses is $500,000 for structures and $500,000 for contents.
Flood insurance will pay on claims even if there is no presidential disaster declaration. Vermont residents in declared counties who sustained damages from flooding June 5 through 13 may still register for disaster assistance by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3363). The TTY number for hearing- or speech-impaired is 1-800-462-7585. Both numbers are available from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday, until further notice.