Everyone is at Risk. Yhat about your Business?
Flooding happens every day in all regions of the country. Consumers must prepare for flooding no matter where they live. The Northeast can be affected by remnants of tropical disturbances in the summer, but are also threatened by winter flooding, nor'easters, and the threat of rapid spring melts. The Midwest experiences major river flooding - illustrated by the catastrophic floods of 1993 and 2008. The west coast's intense flooding season typically spans November through March and results in millions of dollars in damage for residents each year.
Many consumers think that flooding related to hurricanes and other tropical disturbances are limited to coastal areas. However, some of the most damaging flooding can happen well inland and days after a storm makes its initial landfall. In 2007, Ohio, which has no ocean coastline, received more than $44 million in flood insurance payments.
Although many floods are caused by huge storms like hurricanes or nor'easters, more floods occur every day and can result from small, localized events, such as a typical afternoon thunderstorm. No matter where you live, it is important to remember that just a few inches of water in a home can cause thousands of dollars of damage.
Lower Cost Options
The price of a flood insurance policy ranges depending on where a property is located. In high flood risk areas, where coverage is often mandatory, policies cost more. However, most of the country falls within the moderate-to-low risk areas for flooding.
In moderate-to-low risk areas, where the risk of flooding is still very real, customers have lower cost flood insurance options available in the form of the NFIP's Preferred Risk Policies (PRP). Even though flood insurance isn't federally required, anyone can be financially vulnerable to floods. People outside of high-risk areas file over 20% of NFIP claims and receive one-third of disaster assistance for flooding. When it's available, disaster assistance is typically a loan you must repay with interest.
For as little as $129 a year, homeowners can insure their property against flooding. Many consumers don't know that the new PRP policies are also available to business owners and renters. Customers have the option to purchase building coverage, contents coverage, or both.
TOP TEN FACTS
every consumer needs to know about the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)
Building policies start at $20,000 and go up to $250,000. Contents coverage starts at $8,000 and goes up to $100,000.
1. Everyone lives in a flood zone. You do not need to live near water to be flooded. Floods are caused by storms, melting snow,
hurricanes, water backup due to inadequate or overloaded drainage systems, as well as broken water mains.
2. Flood damage is not covered by homeowners policies. You can protect your home, business, and belongings with flood insurance from the NFIP. You can insure your home with flood insurance up to $250,000 for the building and $100,000 for its contents.
3. You can buy flood insurance no matter your flood risk. It does not matter whether your flood risk is high or low. Anyone in a community that participates in the NFIP can buy building and/or contents coverage, with very few exceptions. Some Costal Barrier System (CBRS) areas, Otherwise Protected Areas (OPAs) and buildings principally below ground or entirely over water are not eligible for National Flood Insurance. It is a good idea to buy even in lower risk areas because 25 to 30 percent of flood insurance claims come from low-to-moderate risk areas.
4. The low-cost Preferred Risk Policy is ideal for homes and businesses in low-to-moderate-risk areas. Homeowners can insure buildings and contents for as little as $119 per year. Business owners can insure buildings and contents for as little as $550 per year. Residential renters can insure contents for as little as $39 per year.
5. Flood insurance is affordable. About 90 private insurance companies nationally offer affordable flood insurance backed by the federal government. Contact your local agent. Policies are available to homeowners, condo owners, apartment owners, renters, and business owners alike.
6. Flood insurance is easy to get. You can buy flood insurance from private insurance companies and independent insurance agents; call yours today! You can purchase flood insurance with a credit card.
7. Contents coverage is separate, so renters can also insure their belongings. Up to $100,000 contents coverage is available for homeowners and renters. Whether you rent or own your home or business, make sure to ask your insurance agent about contents coverage. It is not automatically included with the building coverage (except under the Preferred Risk Policy).
8. Up to a total of $1 million in flood insurance coverage is available for non-residential buildings and contents. Up to $500,000 of coverage is available for non-residential buildings. Up to $500,000 of coverage is available for the contents of non-residential buildings.
9. There is usually a 30-day waiting period before coverage goes into effect. Plan ahead so you are not caught without insurance when a flood threatens your home or business.
10. Federal disaster assistance is not the answer. Federal disaster assistance is only available if the President declares a disaster.
Flood insurance pays even if a disaster is not declared.