BATON ROUGE, La. — Every home is vulnerable to flooding. Just an inch of water can cause thousands of dollars’ worth of damage.
More than half of the dwellings damaged by Louisiana’s August floods were located in moderate- and low-risk areas.
Floods can happen anywhere and anytime. A National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policy protects valuable assets and helps pay for recovery.
Properties in moderate- and low-risk areas account for more than 20 percent of the country’s NFIP claims and receive a third of flood-related federal disaster assistance.
Flood-related events have historically affected Louisiana but only 17 percent of the state’s FEMA applicants had flood insurance. It averages a major flood about every six years and 14 hurricanes have struck the state the last three decades.
NFIP policies cover flood damage that federal disaster assistance and most homeowners insurance do not. Depending on the type and amount of coverage, you may receive up to $250,000 for home damage and up to $100,000 for contents. Flood insurance policies go into effect 30 days after purchase.
NFIP payouts are not dependent on state or federal disaster declarations. Floods are the most common natural disaster and usually do not result in a declaration.
Policyholders might be eligible to get additional payments up to $30,000 to mitigate a substantially damaged home so it meets local floodplain-management regulations.
The average annual cost of flood insurance is about $700. Policies for homeowners in moderate- to low-risk areas cost less than $500 a year.
Go to www.floodsmart.gov to learn more about any property’s flood risk, estimate an NFIP premium or locate an insurance agent who sells flood insurance. Visit www.ready.gov/floods for flood information and safety tips.