San Antonio, TX -- Flash floods can begin and end within just a few hours, often cutting a deadly path of devastation. And you don't have to live near the water to experience flooding. Floods can occur from heavy rains, levees breaking or sewage backup.
Standard homeowner's insurance does not cover flood damage, as many Texans discovered in the aftermath of the recent flooding. However, there is assistance available to those who live in communities that choose to participate in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
Since 1968, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has offered flood insurance coverage through the NFIP at a reasonable cost.
A flood insurance policy costs on the average of a dollar a day-peace of mind for those who live in flood prone areas as well as those who may never have to file a claim. People who live in floodplains are five times more likely to have a flood, as compared to a fire, over the lifetime of a 30-year mortgage.
The NFIP is based on an agreement between local communities and the federal government requiring communities that choose to participate to implement programs that reduce flood risks through building codes and zoning regulations, as a condition for federal flood insurance. All structures, as defined by NFIP, within a participating community are eligible to be covered by flood insurance.
"Buying flood insurance puts you back in control," says Dorothy Martinez, NFIP program specialist for FEMA. "Maintaining an NFIP policy is one of the most cost-effective ways to protect yourself against financial ruin from flood damage. With flood insurance, claims are paid even if the President does not declare a federal disaster."