SALEM, Ore. -- Many people think if they do not live near a river or the coast, there is no danger of flooding.??This is simply not true.
In recent years rainfall from severe winter storms has caused serious flood damage across Oregon. Everyone lives in a potential flood zone: homeowners' or renters' insurance does not cover flood damage, and federal disaster relief may not be available since 50 percent of floods nationwide do not result in a federally declared disaster.
Oregonians can take steps to protect their financial well-being before disaster strikes by purchasing flood insurance.
You are eligible to purchase flood insurance if your community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), managed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). In the Beaver State, all communities with identified flood hazards participate in the National Flood Insurance Program.
Flood insurance covers direct physical loss caused by flood, an excess of water on land normally dry. Generally, physical damage to your building or personal property "directly" caused by a flood is covered by your flood insurance policy. For example, damages caused by a sewer backup are covered if the backup is a direct result of flooding. However, if the backup is caused by some other problem, the damages are not covered by flood insurance.
If you live in a high-risk area (Special Flood Hazard Area) you are required to purchase flood insurance if you have a mortgage from a federally regulated lender. You must carry the insurance for the life of the mortgage. If you live outside a Special Flood Hazard Area you are still at risk for flooding. In fact, 20 to 25 percent of all flood claims are filed in low to moderate flood-risk areas.
If you live in a low- to moderate-risk area, you may be eligible for a low-cost Preferred Risk Policy, which can start as low as $112 a year.? Find out about your flood risk by contacting your local floodplain management office, building permit office, municipal planner or county emergency manager.
To purchase flood insurance, contact your local insurance agent or find an agent online at www.floodsmart.gov or by calling 1-800-427-2419. Policies for building and contents (personal property) coverage can be purchased separately.
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.