FRANKFORT, Ky. -- During the past five years there have been nine federal disaster declarations related to serious flooding in Kentucky. The simple facts, proven again by recent storms, are that almost all sections of the state are vulnerable to severe weather and many who suffered losses don’t live in areas considered to be at high-risk for flooding. For these reasons, recovery officials are urging everyone to consider purchasing flood insurance.
“Whether you own your own home or rent; are a business owner or not; have had flood damage before, or not; flood insurance is worth considering because it can make a big difference when you need it most,” said Pat Seaman, deputy federal coordinating officer for Kentucky disaster recovery efforts.
According to Malcolm Franklin, Kentucky emergency management director, “Federal disaster assistance declarations are issued for only 50 percent of flooding incidents; half the time residents and business owners must pay for their own repairs, with little or no financial assistance from FEMA.” Franklin explained that, “On the other hand, flood insurance claims are paid even when there is no presidential disaster declaration.”
Anyone in Kentucky who lives in a city or county that participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) can purchase flood insurance to help protect their residence or business. To find out if your community participates in NFIP, contact your local emergency management office, mayor or county judge executive.
There are a lot of misconceptions about the NFIP. Here are some of the facts you need to know about flood insurance:
Who is eligible to purchase flood insurance?
- Kentuckians who live in flood-risk areas, as well as those who don’t, can purchase flood insurance if their city or county participates in the NFIP. Since anyone can have flood damage, everyone is encouraged to get it.
How much does it cost to get flood insurance?
- The premium for an NFIP residential policy averages $460 a year for $50,000 coverage for a building and $20,000 content coverage. In many cases the premium is less expensive than the alternative-paying for repairs out of pocket or with borrowed funds.
- Between 20 and 25 percent of NFIP’s nationwide claims come from outside mapped high flood-risk areas. The NFIP’s Preferred Risk Policy, available for about $180 a year ($50,000 of residential building coverage and $15,000 content coverage), is designed for residential properties located in low-to-moderate flood-risk zones.
Why should I get flood insurance?
- Homeowner policies do not cover flood damage. Flood insurance protects your home and its contents. (Separate policies are required.)
- When you file a flood insurance claim, you can request a partial payment immediately and can start recovering faster.
- You are still eligible to buy flood insurance if your home, apartment or business has been flooded.
- FEMA assistance via the Individuals and Households Program (providing assistance for temporary housing as well as other necessary unmet disaster-related needs) is only available with a presidential disaster declaration. On the other hand, those with flood insurance can file claims with or without a disaster declaration.
- Flood insurance claims are paid by policyholder premiums, not taxpayer dollars.
For information about purchasing flood insurance, ask your insurance agent; call the NFIP’s toll-free number at 1-888-CALL-FLOOD, or 1-800-427-5593 (TTY), for the hearing impaired; or on the internet at http://www.floodsmart.gov"...