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TDCI Urges Consumers To Rethink Flood Insurance On 10Th Anniversary Of Nashville Flood

Department Shares Flood Insurance FAQs To Assist Tennessee Consumers
Friday, May 01, 2020 | 08:30am

NASHVILLE – On the 10th anniversary (May 1 and May 2, 2020) of the Nashville Flood, the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance (TDCI) urges all Tennessee homeowners to rethink flood insurance and make it a crucial part of owning or renting a property in the Volunteer State.

“Ten years ago, Nashville, Tennessee and the surrounding areas were devastated by a flood whose magnitude will never be forgotten. As the floodwaters invaded Nashville, took lives, and damaged property and public infrastructure, we all watched with immense disbelief and sadness,” said TDCI Commissioner Mainda.   “With the recent series of tornadoes across Tennessee simultaneous with the spread of COVID-19 that has swept across the country, we have again faced unbelievable sadness and devastation. Just like with past disasters such as the Nashville Flood, I know that Tennesseans and all Americans will pull together and overcome.”

To commemorate the Nashville Flood’s anniversary while promoting greater awareness about flood insurance among Tennesseans, TDCI Commissioner Mainda has shared a blog post that is available  here.

While flood insurance cannot stop a flood, it can save homeowners from financial catastrophe. Unfortunately, only 1.14% of Tennessee residents have active flood insurance policies, based on recent data from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). To assist consumers who might have concerns or questions before purchasing flood insurance, TDCI has created a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ) devoted to educating consumers about flood insurance. 

What is the cost of flooding? Flooding can be an emotionally and financially devastating event. Just one inch of water in a home can cause upwards of $25,000 in damages. In the last 10 years, flooding cost the U.S. $40.3 billion in damages. Flood insurance can help you recover faster. To calculate your potential losses, visit FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) flood cost calculator.

What does flood insurance cover? An NFIP policy covers direct physical losses to your structure and belongings. To protect your home and belongings, the NFIP offers two types of coverage: Building coverage and contents coverage.

What isn’t covered by flood insurance? Flood insurance covers losses directly caused by flooding. For example, damage caused by a sewer backup is covered if the sewer backup is a direct result of flooding. If the sewer backup is not caused directly by flooding, the damage is not covered.

Isn’t flood insurance expensive? Compared to the cost of flood damage, the cost of flood insurance is a drop in the bucket. In 2019 nationally, the average flood insurance claim payment was $53,301 and the average flood insurance premium payment was $674.

Won’t federal assistance cover my losses if my home is flooded? Only when a flood is big enough and the damages high enough will a state request a presidential disaster declaration and the declaration has to then be granted by the request from the federal government. Even in the event of a disaster declaration, you might not qualify for federal assistance and, if you do, it may not be enough to cover the costs of rebuilding a home in the aftermath of a flood.

Can homeowners who have been flooded buy flood insurance? Yes. If your community participates in the NFIP, you are eligible to buy flood insurance, regardless of flood history.

How do I purchase flood insurance? Contact your insurance provider today and ask if they participate in the NFIP. If you do not have an insurance company or if your insurance agent does not sell flood insurance, utilize the NFIP insurance provider locator to find a provider near you.

Can I buy flood insurance after a flood to cover my losses? No. Flood insurance policies do not work retroactively.

If I buy flood insurance, can I immediately get coverage? While you can purchase flood insurance at any time, NFIP policies usually have a 30-day waiting period before the policy takes effect. If you purchase a private flood policy, be sure to ask about the waiting period.

If my community does not participate in the NFIP, can I still get flood insurance? Yes. There are a few areas in Tennessee that do not participate in the NFIP. If your community does not participate, FEMA assistance is not available. If flood insurance through the NFIP is not available in your area, contact your licensed insurance agent to ask about private flood insurance. If you choose a private flood insurance policy, be sure to shop around to compare premiums and coverage. 

For more information about flood insurance, visit tn.gov/insurance or floodsmart.gov. To contact the NFIP, call 800-427-4661.

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