Anchorage, Alaska –If you experienced damage from recent severe storms, flooding and landslides, flood insurance may be an option to prepare for future storms.
Floods are the most common and expensive natural disaster in the U.S. One inch of floodwater can cause up to $25,000 of damage in a home. Unfortunately, most homeowners insurance does NOT cover flooding. Usually, the only way for homeowners, renters and businesses to be protected from the costs of flooding is with a policy from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which is managed by the federal government and administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Homeowners and business owners are eligible to purchase flood insurance if their community is among the more than 20,000 communities participating in the NFIP. These include cities, boroughs, counties and other jurisdictions that manage development. Participating communities agree to adopt and enforce floodplain management ordinances to reduce future flood damage. You don’t need to live in a floodplain to purchase a policy. Areas outside of the mapped floodplain are also subject to flooding and an NFIP policy can provide coverage.
Policy rates are determined by many risk factors unique to your structure such as the type of foundation that your structure is built on, the distance to the nearest flooding source, the elevation of the structure above the ground and the amount of coverage needed. The average annual cost of a flood insurance policy in Alaska is $593 per year. That comes out to around $50 per month. Even if your home is not in a designated high-risk area, it can still be flooded. Keep in mind, as many as one-fourth of all NFIP claims come from areas NOT designated as high risk.
The maximum coverage available for a residential building is $250,000 and $100,000 for contents. Non-residential, or commercial structures are eligible for maximum coverage of $500,000 on the building and $500,000 on contents.
Flood insurance coverage is available in participating communities regardless of federal disaster declarations. To find out if your community participates in the NFIP visit the FEMA Community Status Book at https://www.fema.gov/cis/AK.html. There is a 30-day waiting period before new policies go into effect, so don't wait to obtain a policy.
For additional information and to purchase an NFIP policy, contact your insurance agent today. Find out more about your risk and flood insurance at https://www.floodsmart.gov/. To purchase flood insurance or find an agent, call 1-800-427-4661.
For more information about FEMA’s support to Alaska’s severe storms, flooding and landslide recovery, visit the FEMA Disaster Site. Follow FEMA Region 10 on Twitter and LinkedIn for the latest updates.