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Bridging the gap between floods and flood insurance
DENTON -- Despite being the nation’s number one natural disaster, statistics continue to show that most people ignore the risks associated with flooding and do not buy flood insurance.
Out of 10.7 million Texas households and businesses, a little over a million purchased flood insurance policies through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). That’s only 10 percent. Meanwhile, reports show that in the last 12 years, Texas has received 13 major disaster declarations that involved flooding.
Officials with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in Denton, the regional office that oversees Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas, point to several reasons for a lack of participation in NFIP.
“Many people assume that their homeowners’ insurance covers floods, but it usually doesn’t,” said FEMA Region 6 Regional Administrator Tony Russell. “Others think that if they don’t live in a flood zone then they don’t have to buy flood insurance or simply can’t because it’s not offered; both assumptions are inaccurate.”
•Only homeowners can purchase flood insurance.
The truth is anyone in NFIP-participating communities can purchase flood insurance, including business owners, and business and residential renters.
•People can’t buy flood insurance if they are located in a high-flood-risk area.
Anyone can buy flood insurance no matter where they live, as long as the community participates in the NFIP.
•People can’t buy flood insurance if their property has been flooded before.
People are eligible to purchase a flood insurance policy after a flood, as long as the community is participating in the NFIP.
•People can’t buy flood insurance immediately before or during a flood.
You can purchase flood insurance any time. There is usually a 30-day waiting period before the policy is effective.
In an effort to bridge the gap that exists between the high rate of flooding events and the low percentage of flood insurance policies, FEMA is urging Texans to buy flood insurance now before the next flood hits. For more information on flooding and flood insurance, visit www.floodsmart.gov.
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