In 2012, the US Congress passed the Biggert Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 which calls on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and other agencies to make a number of changes to the way the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is run. Some of these changes have already been put in place, and others will be implemented in the coming months. For more information about the Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 changes click here.
Do I Need Flood Insurance?
As stated previously flooding can occur anywhere, anytime. Even if you are not required to have flood insurance, serious consideration should be given to purchasing it anyway.
Homeowners insurance may cover fire and wind damage, but virtually never covers damage from flooding, nature’s most common natural disaster. Damages associated with floods can easily total $25,000 or even more.
Because the City of Destin participates in the National Flood Insurance Program, all city residents qualify to apply for NFIP flood insurance.
Without flood insurance, losses must be covered out of pocket. Some limited relief might be obtainable through government aid, but government assistance is not available automatically. It is only offered when the President makes an official disaster declaration. Less than half of flooding events are “declared disasters”. Declarations require rather widespread damage. Most often, when government aid is available, it comes in the form of an interest bearing loan.
Added coverages may be available for dislocation expenses such as rent, hotel stays, meals, etc. The maximum coverage limits under a standard flood policy are $250,000 for a single family home structure/$100,000 for single family home contents, $500,000 for businesses/commercial structures/$500,000 for business contents. The coverage limit for renter contents is $100,000.
Property owners living in lower risk areas may qualify for a “preferred risk” policy which provides the same coverage at substantially lower rates.
For More Information on Flood Insurance
Your homeowner’s insurance agent most likely can provide you with all the information you need and answer any questions you have. Additional information can be obtained directly from the National Flood Insurance Program by calling 1-888-CALL-FLOOD. You can access additional NFIP information at www.fema.gov/business/nfip or www.floodsmart.gov.