SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- You don't have to own your own home to protect its contents from floodwaters. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) offers renters the chance to safeguard their personal property.
"Flood insurance can provide financial relief from flood damages to a rental home's contents," said State Coordinating Officer Ed Laundy of the Texas Division of Emergency Management (DEM). "Flood insurance can be very inexpensive and we urge the renting public to contact their insurance agent for coverage."
"The smartest thing renters can do is to insure themselves against future losses by purchasing flood insurance," said Federal Coordinating Officer Robert E. Hendrix of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)."It's one of the wisest investments you can make in protecting the loss of property in the future."
Renters can purchase up to $100,000 in coverage for their contents and do not need an existing standard renter's insurance policy in order to qualify for NFIP coverage.
Renters whose property was affected by the recent flooding should consider purchasing flood insurance for their belongings particularly if they are considering moving into an apartment or home that is in a special flood hazard area designated by FEMA.
The National Flood Insurance Program was enacted in 1968 to provide flood insurance for all structures in communities that agree to regulate building in their floodplain areas. Before Congress adopted the program, many communities allowed flood-damaged property to be rebuilt repeatedly in the same flood-prone areas without any attempt to reduce the risk of future flooding.
Individuals whose property was affected by the recent flooding and who live in special flood hazard areas must purchase flood insurance if they decide to rebuild in the same area. If the community in which they live participates in the federal NFIP, they will be able to purchase flood insurance and obtain federally underwritten loans to replace flood-damaged property.
Individuals can contact their local government to see if their community participates in the NFIP and to learn if they are living in a special flood hazard zone. Anyone, no matter where he or she lives in a participating community, can purchase flood insurance. Since standard renter's insurance does not cover flood damage, flood insurance must be purchased separately.
Contact your local insurance agent or call the NFIP toll-free number, 1-800-427-4661 (TTY 1-800-427-5593).