Hurricane Season Is Less Than Two Months Away, And Policies Have A 30-Day Waiting Period
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NEW YORK, April 4, 2016 — Nine out of 10 natural disasters in the United States involve flooding, yet less than 15 percent of the nation’s homeowners and renters have purchased flood insurance, according to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.).
“Too few residences are covered by flood insurance policies because many homeowners and renters underestimate their flood risk,” said Jeanne Salvatore, the I.I.I.’s senior vice president, Public Affairs, and chief communications officer, noting that 20 percent of all flood claims come from moderate-to-low flood risk areas. “Most Americans should at the very least consider acquiring flood insurance because standard homeowners and renters policies do not cover flood-caused damage.”
Flood insurance is available to homeowners and renters from FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and a few private insurance companies. Excess flood insurance policies can also be purchased by homeowners seeking coverage above and beyond the basic NFIP policy, which is capped at $250,000 for structural damage and $100,000 for contents, or those residing in a community that does not participate in FEMA’s NFIP and cannot buy an NFIP policy from the federal government.
“There is a 30-day waiting period between buying an NFIP policy, and when the coverage takes effect, so those residing along the Gulf and Atlantic coastlines may want to act soon because hurricane season starts on June 1.” Salvatore noted.
In its U.S. Spring Outlook for April–June 2016, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) stated, “Parts of Louisiana, Arkansas and eastern Texas have an elevated risk of moderate flooding, along with communities along the Mississippi and Missouri River basins and the southeastern United States, from Alabama to North Carolina.”