Are You Ready For Rain?
“Standard homeowner's insurance almost never covers flood damage,” says Kathy Estes, Thurston County's Emergency Management director. National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policies, which are available through most insurance companies, pay claims whether or not a disaster is declared. Estes explains that federal disaster assistance, when available, is often in the form of a loan, repayable with full interest. She points out that the federal aid is available only for federally-declared disasters. Not all floods, even those causing thousands of dollars of damage, are declared disasters by the federal government.
“Remember that even a few inches of floodwater inside a home can cause thousands of dollars to repair or restore,” Estes says.
For residents of unincorporated Thurston County, a 25-percent discount for flood insurance rates is available due to the county's mitigation and preparedness actions. That translates into an average annual savings of $101 per property. Flood insurance is also available to renters and can cover non-residential buildings such as farm and commercial structures. The NFIP will also cover buildings that have been previously flooded. Estes urges people who wish to purchase flood insurance to do so soon, as there is a 30-day waiting period after the first payment is made before the policy is effective. Information on the National Flood Insurance Program is available at 1-800-638-6620 or at www.floodsmart.gov.
2011 Flood Pictures Courtesy of Thurston County Emergency Management
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