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Preferred Risk Flood Insurance-When Paying A Little Can Save A Lot

SEATTLE, Wash. -- November marks the beginning of flood season in the Pacific Northwest, yet many residents remain without flood insurance because they don't live in a mapped floodplain and don't think they need it. However, according to FEMA Regional Administrator Ken Murphy, you don't need to live in a mapped floodplain to need flood insurance, and if you don't live in a mapped floodplain, bargains abound.

"Nationwide, statistics show that more than twenty-five percent of all National Flood Insurance Program claims are paid for policies in low- or moderate-risk communitieswhose residents likely qualify for Preferred Risk Policies (PRP)," said Murphy.  "Across the board, policies in mapped floodplains are pretty affordable, but our PRP rates can be a real bargainwith annual premiums starting as low as $119 for building and contents coverage." 

A home can be covered up to $250,000 for the dwelling and $100,000 for contents.  Replacement cost coverage is available for single-family, primary residences. Renters can purchase insurance for contents only. Business owners are also eligible for Preferred Risk Policy Flood Insurance. Commercial premiums start at $550 per year for the building or $145 per year for contents only. Non-residential coverage can be purchased for up to $500,000 for structures and $500,000 for contents.

Urban development and natural processes effect flood risk over time and can drive modifications in flood maps. When updated maps move structures into marked floodplains, preferred risk policy holders can be "grandfathered in" to protect against higher rates.

The Preferred Risk Policy will not be issued if a property owner has received:

  • Two flood loss payments of more than $1,000 each;
  • Three or more loss payments of any amount;
  • Two federal disaster relief payments of more than $1,000 each;
  • Three federal disaster relief payments of any amount; or one flood insurance claim payment and one disaster relief payment of more than $1,000 each including loans and grants.
For more information, call 1-800-427-4661, or visit: www.floodsmart.gov.

FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

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