Are you thinking about getting flood insurance? The time to act is now!
Flooding is one of the greatest causes of disaster damage and loss each year. While some areas are more prone to flooding than others, no place is completely immune. Even in high risk areas, people tend to wait until a flooding is imminent before considering a flood insurance policy for their home and property. This delay often means it's too late.
Flood Insurance in the U.S. is provided through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Policies require a 30-day waiting period before becoming effective. But Mother Nature does not grant a 30-day grace period from flood waters. Snowmelt flooding, heavy rainfall downpours, and flash flooding can occur with little warning. Even where flooding occurs more regularly and slowly, 30 days may be too long.
What is the risk?
An area’s flood risk can and does change over time. New development, changes in levee classification and environmental changes can change how flood waters impact an area. FEMA is constantly updating flood hazard maps. These new flood maps, also, known as digital flood insurance rate maps (DFIRMs), show flood risk at a property.
It is important for communities to review updated FEMA maps. The risk level of a particular area may have changed significantly along with flood insurance requirements. If an area has been mapped into a high-risk area, residents may be required to purchase flood insurance if a mortgage is acquired through a federally regulated or insured lender. If property is mapped out of a high-risk area, flood insurance costs may even decrease. People who live near a levee may now have higher flood risk as hundreds of levees across the country no longer meet federal standards for protection. So when new maps are issued, these areas are now shown as high risk.
For questions about the National Flood Insurance Program go to www.floodsmart.gov