ATLANTA — State Insurance Commissioner John W. Oxendine joins FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to remind consumers that experts are predicting another above-average hurricane season, and now is the time for people to protect their homes and property against the most frequent natural disaster in America — floods.
Hurricane season starts June 1.
“Historically, hurricane season flooding is one of the most costly natural disasters affecting Georgia,” Oxendine said. “ Residents should learn their flood risk and take steps before the next storm to protect their home or business from potential flood damage. Remember, standard homeowners insurance does not typically cover flood damage.”
Flood insurance backed by FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program provides homeowners, business owners and renters with the best protection available against flooding. Currently, more than 5.4 million people nationwide have flood insurance for losses they would otherwise have to pay for themselves.
“Total claims paid during the 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons totaled nearly $18 billion approximately $3 billion more than the NFIP had paid out since the program began in 1978. Yet many properties located in high-risk flood areas remain uninsured or underinsured against floods. We urge all Americans to learn their flood risk and take steps to protect themselves,” said David Maurstad, Director of Mitigation and Federal Insurance Administrator for FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program.
The risk of hurricanes and related flooding includes the Gulf Coast and entire Eastern seaboard. Many scientists predict warmer waters in the Atlantic will be fuel for stronger hurricanes over the next 15 to 20 years — and storm surge can be a major factor for coastal areas. Flood insurance covers flooding from tidal and storm surge where other policies may not.
Although storm surge caused by hurricanes and tropical storms can wreak havoc on coastal areas, some of the most damaging floods occur hundreds of miles from the shoreline, days after the storm’s initial landfall.