LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Many Arkansas residents remain without flood insurance because their home or business has never been flooded. However, for those who live in a low- to moderate-risk area, signing up for an inexpensive Preferred Risk Policy under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) makes sense. Flood damage is not covered under homeowner insurance policies, and there is no guarantee that federal assistance will be available when a flood occurs.
NFIP's Preferred Risk rates are quite a bargain, starting at $119 for buildings without basements. A home can be covered for up to $250,000 for the dwelling and $100,000 for contents. Replacement cost coverage is available for single-family, primary residences. Renters and business owners are also eligible for Preferred Risk Flood Insurance.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which administers the Preferred Risk Policy under NFIP, reminds residents that flood insurance is important because floods can occur where they are least expected. Approximately 25 percent of all claims paid by the NFIP are for policies in low- or moderate-risk communities.
"Every year, flooding causes more than $2 billion of property damage in the United States," said Kathy Graf NFIP spokeswoman for FEMA in Arkansas. "Yet thousands who experienced flooding had no flood insurance because they thought they would never need it."
The special Preferred Risk Policy is available for buildings which house one to four families, and non-residential properties. Other insurance is offered at regular rates for buildings in higher risk areas and other types of properties. The Preferred Risk Policy will not be issued if a property owner has received:
Two flood loss payments of more than $1,000 each;
Three or more loss payments of any amount;
Two federal disaster relief payments of more than $1,000 each;
Three federal disaster relief payments of any amount; or
One flood insurance claim payment and one disaster relief payment of more than $1,000 each including loans and grants.
Considering the substantial costs involved in repairing a home that suffers flood damage, and of replacing valuable and treasured items, the Preferred Risk Policy can be a wise purchase for property owners. For more information, call the National Flood Insurance Program at 1-800-427-4661 or visit the NFIP Internet site at www.floodsmart.gov.
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 terrorism.