ESSINGTON, Pa. -- More and more often it is difficult to assure citizens they are not vulnerable to floodwaters. As weather patterns change, so do areas prone to a deluge, say disaster-recovery officials. For that reason, everyone should carry flood insurance, not just the people living in areas designated high-risk for flooding.
Many people do not realize regular homeowner's insurance does not cover a flood event, and they end up high-and-dry when their property is suddenly under water. According to statistics from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), one out of every four flood insurance claims is paid on homes in low to moderate-risk areas.
Fortunately for the citizens who live in these low to moderate-risk areas, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) offers a special, low-cost Preferred Risk Policy. This policy allows homeowners with a one- to four-family residential building to insure them for as little as $112 a year.
The Preferred Risk Policy provides the same coverage as the standard flood insurance policy. Structural elements can be insured for up to $250,000. Residential contents can be insured for up to $100,000; and, if the single-family dwelling is the primary residence, it is eligible for replacement coverage.
Although FEMA is often available to help disaster victims recover, the agency does not respond to every event. No one can guarantee federal money will be available should your home get flooded. It takes a Presidential declaration to open the doors to federal-assistance. Even if federal assistance should be available following a flood, in most cases, qualified disaster victims will receive a low-interest loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration instead of grant money. Loans must be paid back.
FEMA encourages all citizens to be proactive and to protect themselves from the financial burden involved in disaster recovery. Take advantage of the low-cost Preferred Risk Policy today. Call the NFIP at 1-888-CALL-FLOOD (1-888-225-5356) or contact your insurance agent for more information about this program.
On March 1, 2003, FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. FEMA's continuing mission within the new department is to lead the effort to prepare the nation for all hazards and effectively manage federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates proactive mitigation activities, trains first responders, and manages Citizen Corps, the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.