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Washington, D.C., As hurricane season begins, FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program strongly encourages business owners to purchase a flood insurance policy and financially protect their investments from the damaging floods these storms can cause. The risk is real; experts recently released predictions for an active 2006 season, with 13-16 named storms and the potential for four to six major hurricanes.

"If a business has to close its doors for only a few days, the results can be devastating. Learn your business' flood risk, and get protected," said David Paulison, Acting Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The time to purchase a flood insurance policy is now; there is typically a 30-day wait before a policy takes effect.

Flood insurance is a vital investment to ensure that business owners have adequate protection against the devastation flooding can cause. If your business is in a high-risk area (special flood hazard area), you need to be covered by flood insurance. However, last year's storms also showed us first-hand that flooding can also happen outside of the high-risk areas. Floods can happen anywhere, anytime, so everyone should consider flood insurance, said David Maurstad, Federal Insurance Administrator and Director of FEMA's Mitigation Division.

The National Flood Insurance Program offers the following suggestions to make your business FloodSmart before the next storm hits:

  • Call your agent to make sure that your flood insurance policy is active and insurance is adequate.
  • Inventory and photograph the property in your office.
  • Store important documents in a safe, elevated, and waterproof space.
  • Plan for a secondary location in advance so your can stay in business without shutting your doors.
  • Create an emergency communications plan so all employees are accounted for and know what to do.

Flood insurance is affordable and available through 88 insurance companies in more than 21,000 participating communities nationwide. National Flood Insurance is available to business owners, renters, and homeowners. Business owners can learn more about their flood risk by visiting or calling 1-800-427-2419.

In 2009, flood insurance claims were nearly $618,000,000 with an average paid claim of nearly $27,000
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For flood insurance rating purposes, a primary residence is a building that will be lived in by the insured or the insured's spouse for at least 80 percent of the 365 days following the policy effective date. If the building will be lived in for less than 80 percent of the policy year, it is considered to be a non-primary residence.

How Can I get Covered?

  • Rate your risk
  • Estimate your premiums
  • Find an agent

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Last Updated: Sunday, 13-Apr-2014, 4:35 PM (EDT)

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