Residents of Crisfield understand all too well how devastating flood damage can be, after Storm Sandy left their community under water last fall. But floods can affect any part of Maryland, not just those areas along the Chesapeake Bay. During National Flood Safety Awareness Week, March 18-22, 2013, the Maryland Insurance Administration reminds residents to consider protecting their families and property from the expense of repairing major damage from storms and other flooding.
Flooding is not isolated to major bodies of water. Hurricanes, broken levees, outdated or clogged drainage systems, water main breaks and heavy rainfall all can lead to temporarily high levels of water or even mudflows. Most homeowners’ insurance policies do not cover flooding.
“Only 73,429 of Maryland’s 2.4 million households have flood insurance, leaving a large portion of our population unprotected from the potentially high cost of major repairs,” notes Commissioner Therese M. Goldsmith. “Homeowners, renters, and business owners should evaluate their risks and consider whether to purchase coverage through the National Flood Insurance Program.
Even though the National Flood Insurance Program is administered by the Federal Government, many local agents and insurers participate in the program by selling and issuing flood insurance policies. The average flood insurance policy premium is around $600 a year. In low- to moderate-risk areas, residents can protect their properties with lower-cost Preferred Risk Policies (PRPs) that start at $129 a year. Additional coverage is needed to insure the contents of a dwelling that may be damaged by flooding. Premiums are based on the value of the home’s contents.
Learn more about flood risk by visiting www.FloodSmart.gov or calling 800-427-2419. Consumers also may download a brochure entitled An Insurance Preparedness Guide for Natural Disasters. Printed copies of the brochure may be ordered by calling 1-800-492-6116.
Because of a 30-day waiting period before a new flood insurance policy becomes effective, consumers should consider purchasing this coverage now in order to be protected. Spring typically brings significant rainfall and isolated flooding.
Source of information obtained from the Maryland Insurance Administration.