PHOENIX, Ariz. -- As Arizonians know, people who live near water are not the only ones who experience flooding. Floods can happen from heavy rains, levees breaking, sewage backup, sandbags moving water to other areas, and rivers moving over time, spreading for miles.
Standard homeowner’s insurance policies do not normally cover flooding, and yet a home is four times more likely to be damaged by flood than by fire during a 30-year mortgage. Insurance policies for businesses and renters generally do not cover flood damage either.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offers important insurance coverage through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which was created in 1968 to provide flood insurance at a reasonable cost.
Federal flood insurance can be purchased through most major insurance agents, or by calling 1-800-427-2419 to find an agent near you. Flood insurance is inexpensive and can be purchased whether you live in a special flood hazard area or not.
“If a property has flooded in the past, and no mitigation steps have been taken to reduce future risk, the chance is very high that it will flood again,” said Jim Wyatt, FEMA Flood Plain Manager. “Residents should purchase flood insurance now as there is a 30-day waiting period before coverage goes into effect.”
It is important to remember that a flood may not receive a presidential disaster declaration, but with flood insurance, claims are paid even if the President does not declare a federal disaster.
FEMA prepares the nation for all hazards and effectively manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates mitigation activities, trains first responders, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration. FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003.