FEMA provides flood insurance options
Floods are recurring events, as Red River Valley residents know all too well. Valley residents also know that disaster preparedness takes muscle and money.
But it takes less money to protect your home and property before they are damaged than to repair afterward.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) manages the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and wants all Minnesotans to consider buying flood insurance.
Flood insurance backed by the federal government is available to any homeowner, renter or business owner whose property is in a NFIP-participating community.
The national average cost of this insurance is $540 per year and it is sold by nearly 90 private insurance companies.
There is usually a 30-day waiting period after premium payment, before the policy is effective.
Visit the website at www.floodsmart.gov to find your flood risk and find an insurance agent. A toll-free phone number is also available at 1-888-379-9531.
Flood insurance claims are paid even if a disaster is not declared by the President.
When a flood does receive a disaster declaration and federal assistance is granted to an uninsured individual, the individual must then purchase flood insurance to remain eligible for future disaster relief.
Already purchased flood insurance?
Individuals and business owners who have previously purchased flood insurance need to keep their policies updated.
The NFIP offers up to $250,000 coverage for homeowners, up to $100,000 for personal property and up to $500,000 each for business contents and buildings.
FIP claims are not paid for by the taxpayer. Rather, they are paid through premiums collected for flood insurance policies.