December 18th, 2006 05:18 EST
Low Cost Flood Policy Set for Low Risk Residences
ALEXANDRIA, La. -- High ground does not guarantee that you are safe from floodwaters. But it does mean that you may be eligible for a low-cost Preferred Risk Policy (PRP) available through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
The special policy was created to answer two major insurance needs: flood damage is not covered under most homeowner's policies and; during the past 25 years, the NFIP has paid one-quarter of its claims to cover flood losses to homes located in moderate to minimal flood risk zones.
"People should consider this low-cost protection for their homes and contents because floods occur even in areas no one considers high-risk," said Lee Champagne, federal coordinating officer for disaster recovery following the severe storms that began Oct. 16.
Champagne pointed out that when a flood occurs, there is no guarantee that it will be declared a Federal disaster and that a resident will qualify for Federal assistance.
NFIP insurance is available in any of the 290 Louisiana communities enrolled in the program. The policy provides the same coverage as the standard flood insurance policy: your building's structural elements can be insured up to $250,000 and the contents of your home can be insured up to $100,000. Replacement cost coverage is also available for a single-family, primary residence.
This inexpensive policy is available for homeowners with a 1- to 4-family residential building located in a low- to moderate-risk area, which is indicated by a B, C, or X zone on the current Flood Insurance Rate Map.
The PRP is not available in the Emergency Program or in Special Flood Hazard Areas. Condominium units, except for townhouse/ row house type buildings, are not eligible under the PRP. If the structure has a history of recurring losses or claims due to flooding it may not be eligible under program guidelines.
The Preferred Risk Policy is available for as little as $100 a year for $20,000 of building coverage and $5,000 of contents coverage for a building without a basement.
Officials said more information about specific policies and coverage is available by calling the NFIP at 888-FLOOD29, (TTY/TDD) 800-427-5593 , or asking an insurance agent about the Preferred Risk Policy.
FEMA manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident, initiates mitigation activities and manages the National Flood Insurance Program. FEMA works closely with state and local emergency managers, law enforcement personnel, firefighters and other first responders. FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003.