About National Flood Insurance

About National Flood Insurance

In 1968, Congress created the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) in response to the rising cost of taxpayer funded disaster relief for flood victims and the increasing amount of damage caused by floods. The Mitigation Division a component of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) manages the NFIP, and oversees the floodplain management and mapping components of the Program. Nearly 20,000 communities across the United States and its territories participate in the NFIP by adopting and enforcing floodplain management ordinances to reduce future flood damage. In exchange, the NFIP makes Federally backed flood insurance available to homeowners, renters, and business owners in these communities.

Flood damage is reduced by nearly $1 billion a year through partnerships with communities, the insurance industry, and the lending industry. Further, buildings constructed in compliance with NFIP building standards suffer approximately 80 percent less damage annually than those not built in compliance. And, every $3 paid in flood insurance claims saves $1 in disaster assistance payments.

The NFIP is self-supporting for the average historical loss year, which means that operating expenses and flood insurance claims are not paid for by the taxpayer, but through premiums collected for flood insurance policies. The Program has borrowing authority from the U.S. Treasury for times when losses are heavy, however, these loans are paid back with interest.

Flood Insurance is required by law

To get secured financing to buy, build, or improve structures in Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHA’s) you will be required to purchase flood insurance. Lending institutions that are federally regulated or federally insured must determine if the structure is located in a SFHA and must provide written notice requiring flood insurance. Flood insurance is available to any property owner located in a community participating in the NFIP. All areas are susceptible to flooding, although to varying degrees, in fact, 25% of all flood claims occur in the low-to-moderate risk areas. Flooding can be caused by heavy rains, melting snow, by inadequate drainage systems, failed protective devices such as levees and dams, as well as by tropical storms and hurricanes. There’s a big difference between having to buy flood insurance because the law says you must and choosing to buy flood coverage because it’s in your best interests to do so. We recommend that all property owners purchase and keep flood insurance because it is the best means of recovery from flood damaged. Keep the peace of mind in knowing that your property will be protected from damages from the next storm and you’re not left to cover the losses yourself?

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