Sept. 14, 2016
NEWS DESK: 225-382-1607
Frequently Asked Questions
Basic Facts about the National Flood Insurance Program
Q: I have a homeowner’s insurance policy. Why would I buy flood insurance?
A: Flood damage is not typically covered by a homeowner’s insurance policy.
Q: If my home is flooded, won't federal disaster assistance pay for my damages?
A: Not necessarily. Most forms of federal disaster assistance require a presidential declaration. Plus, federal disaster assistance typically comes in the form of a low-interest loan to help cover flood damage, not compensation for your losses. Those loans must be repaid.
Q: Am I eligible for flood insurance, even if I rent?
A: First, you must live in a community that participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to qualify for national flood insurance. If so, you can purchase flood insurance for your home, or for the contents of the home you rent and/or your business.
Q: I live in a low-risk flood zone. Do I really need flood insurance?
A: People outside of high risk flood zones file more than 20 percent of all NFIP claims and receive one-third of federal disaster assistance for flooding. Flooding can occur anywhere. In fact, flooding is the number 1 natural disaster in the United States. From 2006 through 2015, total flood insurance claims averaged more than $1.9 billion per year.
Q: Why does my mortgage lender require me to buy flood insurance?
A: Congress has mandated federally regulated or insured lenders to require flood insurance on properties that are located in areas at high risk of flooding.
Q: Is there a low-cost policy for homes in moderate- to low-risk areas?
A: Yes. A Preferred Risk Policy provides both building and contents coverage for properties in moderate- to low-risk areas for one low price.
Q: My home was damaged in a flood, and I received federal disaster assistance. Do I need to purchase flood insurance now?
A: Yes. If you live in an area designated as a Special Flood Hazard Area and have received disaster assistance in the form of a federal grant or loan, you must cover the building with flood insurance for as long as you own it. Should you sell the building, you are required to inform the new owner of the necessity to purchase and maintain flood insurance. Failure to carry flood insurance could result in the denial of future federal disaster assistance. In some cases, FEMA may provide a Group Insurance Flood Insurance Policy for three years after a disaster after which the homeowner would need to buy a Standard Flood Insurance Policy.
Q: How do I purchase flood insurance?
A: A list of private insurance companies that sell and service NFIP flood insurance policies is available online (www.fema.gov/nfipinsurance/). You can also contact your insurance agent or company to find out more about federal flood insurance or find an agent serving your area by filling out the Flood Risk Profile.
Q: What if I want to purchase more insurance than the NFIP offers?
A: Many private insurance companies offer Excess Flood Protection, which provides limits over and above those of the NFIP. For more information, contact your insurance agent or company.
Monitor DOTD’s www.511la.org website for updated road closure information. You can find the latest information on the state’s response at www.emergency.la.gov. GOHSEP also provides information on Facebook and Twitter. You can receive emergency alerts on most smartphones and tablets by downloading the new Alert FM App. It is free for basic service. You can also download the Louisiana Emergency Preparedness Guide and find other information at www.getagameplan.org.
Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362). For TTY, call 800-462-7585.
FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards. Follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/femaregion6 and the FEMA Blog at http://blog.fema.gov.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is the federal government’s primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. SBA helps businesses of all sizes, private non-profit organizations, homeowners and renters fund repairs or rebuilding efforts and cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property. These disaster loans cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other recoveries and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations. For more information, applicants may contact SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center by calling 800-659-2955, emailing email@example.com, or visiting SBA’s website at SBA.gov/disaster Deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals may call 800-877-8339.
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