ATLANTA, Ga. -- New flood insurance rate maps go into effect for Collier County, Fla. on Wednesday, May 16, 2012. Flood maps show the extent to which areas are at risk of flooding, and they’re used to help determine flood insurance requirements.
Collier County, Fla. property owners and renters who do not have flood insurance are encouraged to buy coverage now to get the best possible premiums before the new maps go into effect.
By law, federally regulated or insured mortgage lenders require flood insurance on properties that are located in areas at high risk of flooding. Even people living outside of high-risk areas can experience flooding, which is the most common and costly natural disaster in the U.S. That’s why everyone, regardless of their flood zone, should take steps to financially protect themselves from a disaster which affects far too many communities each year. The primary way to do that is by purchasing flood insurance. It’s available at affordable rates through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), a voluntary program administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Those who purchase flood insurance prior to the May 16, 2012 effective date of the new maps may be able to obtain a preferred risk policy or be grandfathered into the current flood zone, thereby saving money on flood insurance. It’s important that people talk with an insurance agent to see what options are available to them.
Standard homeowner’s, business owner’s, and renter’s insurance policies don’t cover flood damage, so flood insurance is an important consideration for everyone. NFIP policies can be purchased from any state licensed property and casualty insurance agents who people already deal with for other property insurance needs. When that isn’t possible, NFIP can put people in touch with another agent. Visit www.floodsmart.gov for more information about flood insurance and to locate a local agent.
The new flood maps were produced through a partnership between Collier County and FEMA. They are more precise than older maps because better flood hazard and risk data and the latest science available have been applied to make the maps more accurate, with the ultimate goal of protecting property owners and the community from the risks associated with flooding. Additionally, flood risks change over time due to construction and development, environmental changes, floodplain widening or shifting, and other factors -- which is why it’s important that maps are updated periodically.
If you have questions about where your property is located on the new flood insurance rate maps, contact your local floodplain manager.
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.