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Flooding can occur during any season. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) estimates that 90 percent of all natural disasters involve flooding. A home has a four times greater risk of flooding than burning, during the course of a 30-year mortgage.
NOTE: On December 31, 2011, President Obama signed the Fiscal Year 2012 omnibus appropriations bill that includes a provision temporarily extending the National Flood Insurance Program through May 31, 2012.
If you are interested in obtaining flood insurance, visit FloodSmart.gov. At this site, you will be able to find a local agent, learn additional flood facts, assess your flood risk, and file a claim.
On January 1, 2011, FEMA introduced a new flood insurance provision the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to help reduce the financial burden placed on property owners whose buildings were newly mapped into a high-risk flood area.
The NFIP’s Preferred Risk Policy (PRP) offers low-cost flood insurance to owners and tenants of eligible residential and non-residential buildings located in moderate- to low-risk areas.
A PRP offers considerable premium savings to low-risk property owners with no difference in coverage. Under the low cost PRP, there are two types of coverage combinations: building and contents together, and contents only.
In August 2012, FEMA announced the extension of the Preferred Risk Policy eligibility under the National Flood Insurance Program, which permits customers holding existing preferred risk policies to continue to renew their insurance at the lower cost rate..
Beginning with the first renewal effective on or after January 1, 2013, existing preferred risk policies will not be transitions into full-risk rating. Instead, they will continue to be issued as preferred risk policies at each renewal, until further notice.
Additionally, the preferred risk policy discounted rate will be available to property owners and renters whose buildings are found to be in the Special Flood Hazard Area following map revisions effective on or after October 1, 2008.
In order to be eligible for the preferred risk policy, the building must also meet certain loss-history requirements. If there are two claims, or disaster relief payments for flooding of $1,000 or more, or three losses of any amount, the structure is ineligible for a preferred risk policy.
Premiums for all preferred risk policy holders are being increased an average of 13% to maintain a revenue neutral program that also accounts for the expected increase in participation and policies issued under the preferred risk rate. This increased rate remains below the average full-risk premium that would otherwise be incurred among these policy holders.
Effective January 1, 2011, properties that have been newly mapped into a high-risk flood zone, on or after October 1, 2008, may qualify for a Preferred Risk Policy through the PRP Eligibility Extension program.
To view flood insurance policy rates, click here.
For additional information, contact an insurance agent. Previous and current flood zone documentation for your property will be needed to validate your Preferred Risk Policy extension eligibility.
Click here for county floodplain map update information.
You can also obtain historic maps and current effective maps through FEMA’s Map Service website: www.msc.fema.gov.
Most forms of federal disaster assistance are available to individuals and businesses only if the president declares a federal disaster for a specified area or areas. Through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Individuals and Households Program (IHP) provides money and services to people in the disaster area when losses are not covered by insurance and property has been damaged or destroyed. IHP is designed to help people with critical expenses that cannot be covered in other ways.
The following lists assistance available through IHP: Housing Assistance (which includes temporary housing, repair, replacement and semi-permanent or permanent housing construction) and Other Needs Assistance (which includes personal property, transportation, medical, dental and funeral expenses).
IHP is not intended to restore damaged property to its condition before the disaster. IHP may only provide enough money, up to the program limits, to return an item to service. A resident may be required to purchase flood insurance if a dwelling is in a Special Flood Hazard Area.
While some money is available through Individuals and Households Program, most disaster aid from the federal government is in the form of loans from the Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster Loan Program, which must be repaid. SBA provides low-interest disaster loans to homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes, and to private, nonprofit organizations.
The State of Ohio Individual Assistance Grant Program (State IA Program) may also be available to flood victims for losses and expenses incurred by individuals and families who do not qualify for the SBA loan program.
After a disaster, you are often confronted with making difficult repair decisions in a short period of time. It is important that you educate yourself to avoid dishonest contractors during these hectic times.
Victims of any recent storm or flooding should be extremely cautious and not let the sense of urgency to repair lead them into making a regrettable decision.
Before hiring contractors, check their references and clear them through a local Better Business Bureau or the Ohio Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Section. For a list of bureaus in Ohio, click here.
For additional information, click on the following links: