HURRICANE AND SUMMER RAINY SEASON BEGINS; FEMA STRONGLY URGES CONSUMERS TO PROTECT THEIR PROPERTY WITH FLOOD INSURANCE
Washington, D.C., June 1 marks the official arrival of the 2007 hurricane and summer rainy season and FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) strongly urges homeowners, business owners and renters to learn their flood risk and protect their property with flood insurance. This year, flood risk is especially high; experts predict above-average hurricane activity, with a 75 percent chance of a major hurricane hitting the United States and the potential for as many as 17 named storms anticipated for the season.
Residents living both inside and outside of high-risk flood areas should know their flood risk and consider purchasing a flood insurance policy. Last year, one in three flood insurance claims came from moderate-to-low risk areas. The average premium for a yearly flood insurance policy is around $500, a cost equivalent to a year's subscription to cable television.
"This hurricane season, it's important to prepare now to avoid getting caught with the unexpected expense of flood repairs. Standard homeowners insurance does not typically cover flood damage. Flood insurance backed by FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program provides homeowners, business owners and renters with the best protection available against flooding," said David Maurstad, Assistant Administrator of Mitigation and Federal Insurance Administrator for FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program. "Too many properties located in high-risk flood areas continue to be uninsured or underinsured against floods. We urge all Americans to learn their flood risk and take steps to protect themselves."
Without flood insurance, residents will likely have to cover repair costs out of their own savings and future. In fact, just two inches of water can cause up to $7,800.00 in total losses, including replacement costs for carpeting, flooring, drywall and baseboard molding, along with new lamps, bookshelves and cleanup fees. Homeowners without flood insurance may have to absorb the financial losses on their own or seek limited funding from other sources. To date, the average flood insurance claim for 2006 flood events is approximately $25,000. To learn more about the damage floods can cause, visit http://www.floodsmart.gov/floodsmart/static/testthewaters.jsp.
Flood insurance is available through about 90 insurance companies in more than 20,300 participating communities nationwide to renters, business owners, and homeowners. In moderate-to-low risk areas, residents can protect their properties with lower-cost Preferred Risk Policies (PRPs) that start at just $112 a year. Individuals can learn more about their flood risk by contacting their insurance agent, visiting FloodSmart.gov or calling 1-800-427-2419.