LAREDO, Texas -- High ground does not guarantee that you are safe from floodwaters. But it does mean that you may be eligible for a low-cost Preferred Risk Policy (PRP) available through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The Preferred Risk Policy is available for as little as $119 a year for $20,000 of building coverage and $39 a year for $8,000 of contents coverage for a building without a basement.
The special policy was created to answer two major insurance needs: flood damage is not covered under most homeowner's policies and; since 1978, the NFIP has paid one-quarter of its claims to cover flood losses to homes located in moderate to minimal flood risk zones.
“People should consider this low-cost protection for their homes and contents because floods occur even in areas no one considers high risk,” said Brad Harris, federal coordinating officer for the severe storms and flooding recovery effort.
Harris pointed out that when a flood occurs, there is no guarantee that it will be declared a federal disaster and that a resident will qualify for federal assistance.
NFIP insurance is available in any Texas community enrolled in the program. The policy provides the same coverage as the standard flood insurance policy: your building's structural elements can be insured up to $250,000 and the contents of your home can be insured up to $100,000. Replacement cost coverage is also available for a single-family, primary residence.
This inexpensive policy is available for homeowners and business owners located in a low- to moderate-risk area, which is indicated by a B, C, or X zone on the current Flood Insurance Rate Map.
The PRP is not available on properties located in the high-risk flood zone, in the Emergency Program or on condominium units, except for townhouse/ row house type buildings. If the structure has a history of recurring losses due to flooding, it may not be eligible under program guidelines.
Officials said more information about specific policies and coverage is available by calling the NFIP at 888-FLOOD29, (TTY/TDD) 800-427-5593, or asking an insurance agent about the Preferred Risk Policy.
For more information on the Hurricane Alex disaster recovery, browse the features on this FEMA Web site at www.fema.gov/hazard/hurricane/2010/alex/index.shtm. Users of smart phones and other mobile devices can visit m.fema.gov. Texans should also visit www.txdps.state.tx.us/dem for more information on this disaster and preparation for future disasters.
FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards