March 28, 2020
FEMA Extends Grace Period for Flood Insurance Renewal Premiums
FEMA continues to take proactive steps to address the COVID-19 pandemic. To help serve its National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) customers who may be experiencing financial hardships, the agency is extending the grace period to renew flood insurance policies from 30 to 120 days.
FEMA understands due to the widespread economic disruption arising from this pandemic, policyholders may not meet the standard deadline for renewing their policies. This extension will allow additional time for policyholders who may be struggling financially to pay insurance premiums and ensure their policies are not cancelled for nonpayment of premium due to circumstances beyond their control.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out. A copy of the full announcement can be found HERE.
Frequently Asked Questions about Purchasing a Flood Insurance Policy
Flooding can be an emotionally and financially devastating event. Without flood insurance, most residents have to pay out of pocket or take out loans to repair and replace damaged items. With flood insurance, you're able to recover faster and more fully. Learn more about your options at www.floodsmart.gov.
Doesn't my homeowners insurance policy cover flooding?
No. Flood damage is not typically covered by a homeowners insurance policy.
Am I eligible for flood insurance?
You must live in a community that participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to qualify for National Flood Insurance. Find out if your community participates in the NFIP and the kinds of NFIP resources available in your community
If my home is flooded, won't federal disaster assistance pay for my damages?
Not necessarily. Federal disaster assistance typically comes in the form of a low interest loan to help cover flood damage, not compensation for your losses. Even then, those loans are only available if the president formally declares a disaster and must be repaid along with any existing mortgage.
I live in a low-risk flood zone. Do I really need flood insurance?
Most likely, yes. It's a good idea to buy flood insurance even if you live in a moderate- or low-risk area. Anyone can be financially vulnerable to floods. People outside of high-risk areas file over 20% of NFIP claims and receive one-third of disaster assistance for flooding. When it's available, disaster assistance is typically a loan you must repay with interest. You may qualify for the Preferred Risk Policy (a lower-cost flood insurance policy) that provides contents coverage beginning at $49 per year and building plus contents coverage beginning at $129 a year.
Why do I need flood insurance, even though my community has never been flooded?
Flooding occurs in moderate-to-low risk areas as well as in high-risk areas. Poor drainage systems, rapid accumulation of rainfall, snowmelt, and broken water mains can all result in flood. Properties on a hillside can be damaged by mudflow, a covered peril under the Standard Flood Insurance Policy. Structures located in high-risk flood areas have a significant chance (26 percent) of suffering flood damage during the term of a 30-year mortgage. In a high-risk area, your home is more than twice as likely to be damaged by a flood than by fire. For these reasons, flood insurance is required by law for buildings in high-risk flood areas as a condition of receiving a mortgage from a federally regulated or insured lender.
Who do I contact if I want to purchase a flood insurance policy?
The National Flood Insurance Program has an arrangement with private insurance companies to sell and service flood insurance policies. A list of private insurance companies that sell and service NFIP flood insurance policies is available to you.
You may also contact your insurance agent or company to find out more about federal flood insurance or find an agent serving your area by contacting FEMA.
Click here to visit the National Flood Insurance Program.
For more information about flood insurance contact:
Whit E. Montague, CFM
State NFIP Coordinator / State Climatologist
Office: (501) 682-3969 Fax: (501) 682-3991