LATHAM, N.Y. -- The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is one of the few sources of insurance for communities in New York and across the nation. But what you don't know about flood insurance can hurt you.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has compiled the following key facts that everyone should know about flood insurance:
Flood insurance is available. You can buy flood insurance as long as you live in a participating NFIP community. Renters, condominium owners, homeowners and business owners are all eligible to purchase a policy from a local insurance agent.
Flood insurance is sometimes required - but should always be considered. Most individuals that have a mortgage on a home in a high-risk area are required by law to carry flood insurance. But, just because flood insurance is not required, does not mean it is not needed. Even if your lender does not require you to carry it, you should ask your agent about flood insurance options to better protect your biggest investment.
Know your coverage limits - and be fully insured. A maximum of $250,000 of building coverage is available for single-family residential buildings and condominiums. The limit for contents coverage on all residential buildings is $100,000, which is also available to renters. The average flood insurance premium is $570 per year. If you live in a low-to-moderate risk area, lower-cost Preferred Risk Policies start as low as $129 a year. For a complete summary of building and contents items covered by flood insurance, visit www.floodsmart.gov/floodsmart/pdfs/NFIP_Summary_of_Coverage.pdf.
Commercial structures can be insured to a limit of $500,000 for the building and $500,000 for the contents. For more information, contact your local insurance agent, or for help in finding an agent near you, please visit the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) website, www.floodsmart.gov/
Stay insured. You can purchase flood insurance at any time. However, there is usually a 30-day waiting period before the policy becomes effective. Once you buy flood insurance, the insurance agent will provide you with the policy. If the lender requires the property owner to carry flood insurance, the insurance agent will also provide a copy of the policy to the lender. If you already have a flood insurance policy, remember that your policy needs to be renewed each year. Renewal policy documentation and premium notices are sent directly to the policy holder. However, we encourage all policy holders to talk to their agents annually about their flood insurance coverage.
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.