Lack of coverage may affect eligibility for future disaster assistance

Late spring 2017 brought severe storms, winds and flooding for many northern and central Arkansas counties. Part of the eligibility of receiving federal financial assistance after a flood is that a homeowner or renter who lives in a high-risk flood area must obtain and maintain flood insurance, or not receive federal disaster assistance for home repairs and personal property replacement during another flood event. Call an insurance agent today to make sure you are covered by a flood insurance policy.

If a property affected by a flood event that has the obtain and maintain requirement is sold, the new owners are required to have flood insurance for the property as well. To learn more about the obtain and maintain flood insurance requirement, click here.

The 2017 event resulted in a major disaster declaration with FEMA Individual Assistance in the following counties: Benton, Boone, Carroll, Clay, Faulkner, Fulton, Jackson, Lawrence, Prairie, Pulaski, Randolph, Saline, Washington, White, Woodruff and Yell. The average FEMA disaster assistance was $4,339. For those who had flood insurance, the average claim payment was $49,398. For these same counties, there are currently just under 6,000 National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policies. This is down almost six percent over the last year and nearly 22 percent over the past five years. Only one inch of water can cause $25,000 in damage to a home.

Additionally, FEMA purchased three-year flood insurance policies for 20 disaster survivors who met eligibility criteria. These policies expired on Aug. 14, 2020, and households were notified that they also have the obtain and maintain flood insurance requirement to be eligible for future disaster assistance in a flood event.

It is important to remember that anyone who has the obtain and maintain flood insurance requirement, including those who had a Group Flood Insurance Policy (GFIP), the homeowner or renter must purchase a standard flood insurance policy. After purchasing a standard flood insurance policy, a 30-day waiting period starts before coverage becomes effective.

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