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June 12, 2012
Protect Yourself from a Flood
Most Texans aren't prepared for the most common type of natural disaster: floods. People typically think of floods caused when a lake or river overflows. If they don't live near water, they don't think they need to take precautions. But flooding frequently occurs because of storms, heavy rains, or water main breaks.
Homeowners and renters insurance policies don't cover flood damage. To protect yourself from losses caused by most flooding, you'll need to buy a flood insurance policy from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). NFIP is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). FEMA estimates that only 12 percent of the flood policies in the United States were sold in Texas.
If you live in a high-risk area, your lender probably requires you to have flood insurance. But everyone should consider flood insurance. About 20 percent of the flood insurance claims that NFIP pays come from people who live in low-risk areas. If you don't have flood insurance, you'll have to pay for repairs out of your own pocket. The cost can be high. After Hurricane Ike, for instance, FEMA says the average flood damage claim was $67,000.
Flood insurance policies cover your house, your personal property, or both. The cost of a policy depends on where you live, but the average cost is about $600 a year. If you live in a low-risk area, you can buy a policy for as little as $129 a year.
For more information about flood insurance, to rate your risk, and to estimate your premium, call NFIP or visit its website
1-888-FLOOD 29 (356-6329)
Also read the NFIP bulletin regarding the new exception to the 30-day waiting period for flood coverage due to flooding on federal land burned by wildfires.
For answers to general insurance questions, for information on filing an insurance-related complaint, or to report suspected insurance fraud, call TDI's Consumer Help Line between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Central time, Monday-Friday, or visit our website
463-6515 in Austin
For more information, contact: