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Tennesseans Should Understand Flood Insurance

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Release date: 
September 23, 2010
Release Number: 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee has an abundance of rivers and streams – from the bubbling mountain brooks of the east, to its interior workhorse rivers, the Tennessee and the Cumberland, to the mighty Mississippi and its meandering tributaries in the west.

Navigate every inch of every year-round waterway in the state and you’ll travel almost 54,000 miles – enough to circle the Earth more than twice.

Is it any wonder that Tennessee is highly susceptible to the devastation caused by flooding? And yet, in a state with 6.3 million people and 138,000 businesses, just over 25,000 flood insurance policies have been issued, according to National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) records.

That's why the Federal Emergency Management Agency has teamed up with the NFIP to inform Tennesseans about these flood insurance facts:

  • Flood insurance, backed by the federal government, is sold separately from homeowners insurance.
  • Flood insurance protects against losses to buildings and their contents, not the land surrounding buildings.
  • Different types of policies are available depending on flood risk, a property’s compliance with ordinances governing building in a flood zone, and other factors.  Flood hazard maps indicate a location’s flood risk.
  • Flood insurance is available both within and outside floodplains.
  • To be considered a flood for insurance purposes, the waters must cover at least two acres of normally dry ground or affect at least two properties – one of which is yours.
  • If you live in a high-risk area, you will need a Standard Policy – available to Tennessee communities that participate in the NFIP. Building and contents coverage must be applied for separately.
  • If your home is in a low- or moderate-risk zone, your building may qualify for a low-cost Preferred Risk Policy. Preferred Risk Policies have options for buildings, contents or both.
  • Flood insurance is sold by private insurers or agencies, but not all agencies offer it.
  • Flood insurance covers homeowners, renters and businesses.
  • With residential insurance, you can get up to $250,000 of coverage to protect your home and up to $100,000 to protect its contents.
  • There is a 30-day waiting period from the date of purchase before a new flood policy goes into effect.

For more information about NFIP, the types of policies available and a list of agencies that sell flood insurance, visit or call 888-379-9531.

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The social media links provided are for reference only. FEMA and TEMA do not endorse any non-government websites, companies or applications.

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.

Last Updated: 
July 16, 2012 - 18:46
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