Recent historic storms remind us that hurricanes are an ever present danger for Georgians. High winds, storm surge, and flooding have the potential to cause hundreds of millions—even billions—of dollars in damage each year. A policy with the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is one of the best tools available to protect your home, business and insurable property.
Homeowner’s or Renter’s Insurance is Not Enough
Homeowner insurance policies do not cover flood damage and there is no guarantee that federal disaster assistance will be available when a flood occurs.
A flood insurance policy through NFIP is your best protection against flood-related loss. It takes 30 days for a new NFIP policy to go into effect.
In order to qualify for flood insurance, your home or business must be in a community that has joined NFIP and agreed to adopt and enforce sound floodplain management regulations and ordinances that meet or exceed FEMA requirements to reduce the risk and consequences of serious flooding.
In exchange for a community’s proactive efforts to reduce flood risk, policyholders can receive reduced flood insurance premiums for buildings in the community.
You can find out if your community is one of more than 22,000 communities that have implemented floodplain management measures and participate in NFIP by visiting: www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program-community-status-book.
Insure Against Future Repetitive Loss
If your residence or business is located in a floodplain or has taken on flood damage from a major disaster requiring federal assistance, you may be at risk of future repetitive loss.
Homeowners who receive federal disaster assistance must obtain flood insurance at the address of the home, even if the damaged building is replaced by a new one. If you sell your home, federal law requires that the new owners be informed that flood insurance coverage must be maintained on the structure. Often, an existing flood insurance policy can be transferred to a new owner with no lapse in coverage.
If you are a renter and receive federal disaster assistance, flood insurance coverage must be maintained on the contents for as long as you live at the flood-damaged rental property. The requirement for flood insurance is lifted once you move from the building.
Protection for Your Home and Insurable Property
Flood insurance is available to homeowners, business owners and renters. Policies offer up to $250,000 coverage for homeowners, up to $100,000 for personal property and up to $500,000 each for business contents and building repairs.
Flood insurance protects two types of insurable property. The first covers your building, the second covers your possessions; neither covers the land they occupy.
Building coverage includes:
- The insured building and its foundation;
- The electrical and plumbing system;
- Central air conditioning equipment, furnaces and water heaters;
- Refrigerators, cooking stoves, and built-in appliances such as dishwashers; and
- Permanently installed carpeting over unfinished flooring.
Contents coverage includes:
- Clothing, curtains, furniture and electronic equipment;
- Portable items such as; window air conditioners, microwaves and dishwashers; and
- Carpeting that is not already included in property coverage.
How to Get the Coverage You Need
NFIP is administered by FEMA, which works closely with more than 80 private property and casualty insurance companies to offer flood insurance to homeowners, renters, and business owners. To find an agent visit: fema.gov/wyo_company.
Rates are set nationally and do not differ from company to company or agent to agent. These rates depend on many factors, including the date and type of construction of your home, along with your building’s level of risk.
Property owners who already have flood insurance policies are encouraged to check their policy each year, update as necessary and make sure premiums remain paid in full.
For more information or to find an insurance agent near you who sells flood insurance, visit floodsmart.gov, or call the NFIP toll-free number at 1-888-356-6329 (TTY 1-800-427-5593). Multilingual operators are available (press 2 for Spanish).
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-FEMA (3362). For TTY call 800-462-7585.
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. Follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/femaregion4 and the FEMA Blog at http://blog.fema.gov .
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is the federal government’s primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. SBA helps homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes, and private non-profit organizations fund repairs or rebuilding efforts and cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property. These disaster loans cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other recoveries and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations. For more information, applicants may contact SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center by calling 800-659-2955, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or visiting SBA’s Web site at www.sba.gov/disaster Deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals may call 800-877-8339.