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Floridians Urged To Purchase Flood Insurance


ORLANDO , Fla. - December 6, 2005 - If you received federal disaster assistance for flooding related to Hurricane Wilma and your property is located in an area designated by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) as being at high risk for flooding, you will need to obtain flood insurance; that is one of the requirements for federal grants and federally backed low-cost loans. Youíll need to maintain your insurance for the life of the loan.

Even if you did not suffer flood-related damage from Wilma, obtaining flood insurance is always a wise idea. Historically, flooding has brought damage and destruction to communities across the United States .

Flood insurance is easy to obtain and is sold by most insurance agents. Visit or call 1-800-427-2419 to learn how to prepare for floods, how to purchase a National Flood Insurance Policy and about the benefits of protecting homes and property against flooding. Also keep the following facts in mind:


• Floods are the #1 natural disaster in the United States
• Just inches of water can cause thousands of dollars in damage
• Homeowners insurance doesnít cover flood damage
• Twenty to 25 percent of all flood insurance claims are filed in low- to moderate-risk areas
• New land development can increase flood risk, especially if the construction changes natural runoff paths


• In the past 10 years, flood losses in the United States averaged $886 million per year
• The NFIP paid nearly $1.4 billion in flood insurance claims to policyholders during the 2004 hurricane season
• Federal disaster assistance is usually a loan that must be paid back with interest and is only available when a disaster has been federally declared
In order to help alleviate the financial devastation caused by flooding, Congress created the NFIP in 1968. The NFIP, managed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), enables homeowners, business owners and renters to purchase federally backed flood insurance. The goal of the NFIP is to provide affordable protection against flooding to as many homeowners, business owners and renters as possible across the country.

You are eligible to purchase flood insurance as long as your community is among the more than 20,000 communities that participates in the NFIP. Participating communities agree to adopt and enforce floodplain management ordinances to reduce future flood damage and, in exchange, any property owner in a participating community can purchase flood insurance. Mortgage lenders may require prospective home buyers to purchase flood insurance if the home is located in a floodplain.

National flood insurance is available in all zones (low, moderate and high risk), with significant cost savings for people in low- to moderate-risk areas. Even if your property has been flooded before, you can still obtain flood insurance.

It takes 30 days after purchase for a policy to take effect. The waiting period is waived if you are making, increasing or renewing a loan for the property. The average premium for a yearly flood insurance policy is around $450. If you live in a low- to moderate-risk community and are eligible for the Preferred Risk Policy, your flood insurance premium may be as low as $112 per year, including coverage for your propertyís contents. And remember, to stay covered, you must renew your flood insurance policy each year.

Currently, more than 4.6 million flood insurance policies are in force nationwide, representing nearly $773 billion worth of coverage. In Florida , there were 1.95 million flood insurance policies as of September 30, 2005. These policies represent nearly $348 billion of insurance coverage, which is the first line of recovery after a flood disaster. In the last 10 years, there have been 22 flood disaster declarations for the state of Florida . Last fiscal year alone, nearly $1.2 billion in losses were paid.


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