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Protect Now With Flood Insurance

posted May 2, 2011, 12:52 PM by Jayson Wingfield   [ updated May 2, 2011, 12:53 PM ]

WASHINGTON – May 2, 2011 – Hurricane season starts in one month. Since flood insurance typically comes with a 30-day waiting period to become effective, it’s time to sign up.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) officials urge U.S. residents to prepare their homes and businesses for the heightened flood risks associated with hurricanes and tropical storms.

Hurricanes caused eight of the top 10 most expensive declared disasters, but many U.S. residents still lack insurance protection against flood damage, causing them to absorb financial losses or seek limited funding from other sources to rebuild or repair after a storm.

“The spring months have already brought significant flood events to many states in the U.S.,” says Ed Connor, assistant administrator for FEMA’s Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration. “Because most homeowners insurance does not cover flood damage, the time to get properly protected is now.”

More than 85 insurance companies in nearly 21,000 participating communities nationwide offer flood insurance. Most everyone – renters, business owners, and homeowners – can purchase flood insurance. The average flood insurance policy costs around $600 a year; in moderate- to low-risk areas, homeowners can purchase low-cost Preferred Risk Policies (PRPs) starting at $129 a year.

FEMA offers more flood insurance on a dedicated website, www.FloodSmart.gov. Homeowners can also call directly to (800) 427-2419.