Flood Insurance Pays Off for Neb. Residents

July 5, 2005

Following recent flooding, many Nebraskans are reportedly asking about flood insurance availability and coverage.

Flood insurance is the only way to cover losses from America’s top natural disaster. In the life of the average 30 year mortgage, there is a 9 percent chance of a fire-related loss. In contrast, there is a 26 percent chance for a flood-related loss. Flooding can occur anywhere, not just in a floodplain.

Flood insurance is available to any Nebraska homeowner, renter or business owner located in one of the 341 communities participating in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Community participation requires adopting and enforcing local floodplain management ordinances designed to lower the risk of future flood losses.

What you need to know about flood insurance:

* Know that your homeowner’s policy doesn’t cover you from flooding. * Only flood insurance protects you against flood damage.
* There is a 30-day waiting period to get flood insurance. Learn your risk and act now. The average cost of a flood insurance policy is $400 a year. For those living in low-to-moderate risk areas, there is a Preferred Risk Policy available for little more than $100
* Make sure you know what your policy covers — the building, the contents, etc.
* There are separate flood insurance policies for structure coverage and for contents coverage.
* Floods and flash floods happen in both low and high-risk flood zones. One in four flood loss claims is filed in low-risk areas.
* Federal flood insurance can be purchased through most major insurance agents or by calling 1-800-427-2419 to find an agent near you.

Even though flood insurance may not replace property and possessions to pre-disaster conditions, it is a best first step to recovering from a flood, even a small one that does not merit a presidential disaster declaration.

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