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Standard homeowners insurance policies and standard business insurance policies do not provide protection against floods. It is a hard lesson that has been learned by some in Delaware in the past. And it is an unfortunate reality that many people don’t find out until it’s too late.
While some private companies offer flood insurance, most flood insurance in the U.S. is backed by the federal government under the National Flood Insurance Program. It is available to home and business owners through local insurance agents. Under the NFIP, home coverage is available up to $250,000 and up to $100,000 of coverage is available for personal possessions.
For insurance agents,the Commissioner’s Office has added a course for flood insurance to the continuing education that is required for insurance agents who sell homeowners insurance to maintain their license.
For local governments, the Commissioner’s Office has provided information to each town, city and county government in Delaware on the Community Rating System (CRS) of the federal flood insurance program. Residents in communities that undertake specific flood preparation and prevention activities can get discounts on their flood insurance between 5 and 45 percent.
These activities range from public awareness and data collection, to preserving undeveloped floodplain land, to maintaining an updated flood response plan, to relocating floodprone buildings. Some activities governments are already doing may qualify them for CRS credit, and the more activities a government performs, the higher the premium discount is for its citizens.
Information for local governments about CRS is online at www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program-community-rating-system or call the Insurance Commissioner’s Office at (302) 674-7300.
Flood Insurance Links and News
NEW Delaware Dept. of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC): Flood Mitigation Program (Delaware flood maps, FEMA links, Construction and planning resources, and more)
FEMA Factsheet: How April 2015 Program Changes Will Affect Flood Insurance Premiums
FEMA: Flood Insurance Reform
FEMA: Flood Insurance