SCARBOROUGH, Maine - Buying homeowners insurance for a house or property is a natural step in protecting one's home. However, many residents are unaware that most homeowners insurance policies do not cover flood damage. Every homeowner or renter needs to seriously consider flood insurance. If you don't buy it now, you may be left without any insurance coverage when you need it most.
Maine is consistently threatened by severe storms and heavy rains throughout the spring and summer seasons. The most recent flooding from the April nor'easter and past flood events, like the 4-12 inches of rain from Hurricane Floyd that saturated Maine in 1999, show that flooding is a very real threat to Mainers. Over the last 10 years, Maine has experienced eight federally declared disasters from flooding.
As nearly 8,000 policy holders in Maine can attest, flood insurance is the best way to protect against the damaging effects of flooding. Federal disaster assistance is usually a loan that must be paid back with interest - and is only available when a disaster has been federally declared.
Homeowners can insure their home for up to $250,000 and its contents for up to $100,000. Renters can cover their belongings for up to $100,000. Non-residential property owners can insure a building and its contents for up to $500,000 each. The average homeowners flood insurance premium for Maine policyholders is approximately $600 a year. There is a generally a 30-day waiting period before a policy becomes effective.
Property owners, renters and business owners - you can purchase flood insurance if your community is among the more than 20,200 communities that participate in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), managed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). To purchase flood insurance, you should contact your local insurance agent. You can also visit FloodSmart.gov or call 1-800-427-2419 to find an agent in the area or learn more about flood insurance.
FEMA coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.
The Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) has statutory responsibility for statewide coordination of emergency preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation. MEMA is a bureau of the Department of Defense, Veterans and Emergency Management.