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Buy Flood Insurance Now

Release date: 
July 23, 2019
Release Number: 
DR-4447-OH NR 018


COLUMBUS, Ohio – With debris still scattered far and wide, it may not seem the right time to consider buying flood insurance, but there couldn’t be a better time to protect yourself against future disasters with coverage from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

Floods are the most common and the most costly natural disasters in the United States. Just an inch of water in an average-sized home can cause more than $25,000 in damage, a cost that is rarely covered by standard homeowner or renter’s insurance. That is why FEMA urges homeowners, renters and business owners to protect their homes and assets from devastating financial loss with an NFIP policy before any possible inundation occurs.

The NFIP is a federally-backed program that provides most of the nation’s flood insurance. It is administered by FEMA, but the policies are sold for a uniform price by private insurance agents. Coverage takes effect after a 30-day waiting period – more reason not to delay.

Flooding is not limited to high-risk flood areas known as Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHAs). More than 20 percent of flood insurance claims paid are for properties outside SFHAs. And, unlike FEMA’s disaster assistance grant programs, NFIP claim payouts do not require a presidential disaster declaration and can cover damage far in excess of what FEMA help provides.

NFIP insurance is an affordable way to protect investments in homes, businesses or personal property. Homes can be insured against flood damage for up to $250,000, and commercial buildings for up to $500,000. Policies can cover contents up to $100,000 for homes and $500,000 for businesses. Renters can insure their personal property for up to $100,000.

To be eligible for NFIP coverage, your hometown or county must apply to participate in the program and adopt certain ordinances. To see if your jurisdiction is eligible for the NFIP, consult local officials or www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program-community-status-book.

Anyone who lives in an SFHA and has accepted any grant from FEMA is required to purchase and maintain flood insurance. Likewise, anyone carrying a federally-backed mortgage in an SFHA must have flood insurance. For more information on the NFIP, call FEMA’s Helpline at 800-621-3362, contact your own insurance agent or log onto www.floodsmart.gov. Enter your home address there to find out the flood risk rating for your area. The Ohio Department of Insurance is available at www.insurance.ohio.gov/ or (614) 644-2658 if you have issues with your insurance.

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FEMA’s mission is helping people before, during and after disasters.

Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-3362 or TTY at 800-462-7585. If you are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability and use a TTY, call 800-462-7585. All Disaster Recovery Centers are physically accessible and equipped to accommodate disaster survivors who need communication access. If you require an accommodation (ASL interpreter, Braille, Large print, etc.) while visiting a Disaster Recovery Center, just ask a FEMA representative.

Last Updated: 
July 31, 2019 - 10:37