Karl Newman, President
Sandi Henke, Communications Director
NW Insurance Council
Phone: (800) 664-4942
Fax: (206) 624-1975
Follow at Twitter.com/nwinsuranceinfo
Insurance: don't wait for waters to rise
SEATTLE – This week’s National Flood Safety Awareness campaign and recent local flood watches are a reminder for homeowners and business owners to consider buying Flood Insurance now. Spring rains and melting snow are on their way and National Flood Insurance policies require a 30-day waiting period.
Flooding causes an average of 89 fatalities and $8.3 billion in damages annually across the nation, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Floods are the costliest natural disaster in the nation and affect every state and territory.
Standard Homeowners and Business Insurance policies do not cover losses caused by flooding. However, everyone at risk for flooding should investigate Flood Insurance, available through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
“NFIP studies show that people living in flood plains are 27 times more likely to experience a flood during their 30-year mortgage than they are to experience a fire,” said Karl Newman, NW Insurance Council president. “If you’re in an at-risk area, it makes sense to investigate your options.”
Waiting for flood waters to rise before getting Flood Insurance is a risky proposition because there is a 30-day waiting period for new Flood Insurance policies, meaning any flood damage to your home or business before that time will not be covered.
Residents living in or around flood plains are encouraged to review their Homeowners and Flood Insurance policies now before flooding happens.
NW Insurance Council, NFIP and the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety offer these tips as you consider purchasing Flood Insurance to protect your home during the long rainy season:
- Find out if you are located in a floodplain and if your community
participates in the NFIP. Contact your city or county government.
Start with the Building or Planning Department and ask to see
the Flood Insurance Rate Maps published by the Federal Emergency
Management Agency to determine your Base Flood Elevation.
- Contact your insurance agent or company to help you with getting
Flood Insurance rates from the National Flood Insurance Program.
- In low-to-moderate flood risk areas, coverage is available
for as little as $100 per year. The average premium in high-risk
areas is about $400 per year.
- If you are at risk for flooding, buy as much flood coverage
as you can, up to the value of your home or business structure.
Primary residences insured for at least 80 percent of their
value, or for the maximum amounts allowed, get replacement cost
- There is a 30-day waiting period from the time a policy is
purchased until you are covered. " Become familiar with your
community's disaster preparedness plans and create a family
plan ahead of time, before a flood threatens.
- Develop an emergency kit that includes a three-day supply
of drinking water and food you don't have to refrigerate or
cook. The kit should also contain first aid supplies, a weather
radio, batteries, clothing, blankets, medicine, copies of your
insurance policies and some basic tools.
- Be disaster
ready. Learn what disasters you're at risk of in your region
and how to prepare your family.
- Develop a home inventory of your personal property. You can
access free, downloadable Home
Inventory software from the Insurance Information Institute.
A complete inventory of your possessions will help you and your
adjuster get through the claims process more quickly.
- If you experience damage from a storm contact your insurance
company right away so they can begin working on your behalf
to repair your home or business.
For more information or copies of brochures titled Are
You Ready? Preparing Your Family, Home & Business For a Disaster
Guide to Insurance, contact NW
Insurance Council at (800) 664-4942.
NW Insurance Council is a nonprofit, public-education
organization funded by member insurance companies serving Washington,
Oregon and Idaho.