Kansans evaluating their flood insurance needs should be aware of upcoming rate increases for new and renewal policies, according to Sandy Praeger, Commissioner of Insurance.
The rate increases are part of provisions passed by Congress as part of the Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012.
Floods — or an excess of water (or mud) on normally dry land — are not covered by a typical homeowners or renters policy. Most homes may be eligible for coverage under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The NFIP offers flood insurance policies, through local insurance agents, for homeowners or renters in communities that participate in the federal program.
“Consumers should be aware there is a 30-day waiting period after the purchase of a flood insurance policy before the coverage goes into effect,” Commissioner Praeger said, “so Kansans should take that into consideration when determining if and when to purchase coverage.”
The new federal legislation extends NFIP until Sept. 30, 2017. It includes phasing out subsidies on properties with repetitive losses, allowing coverage for multifamily properties, and minimum deductibles for flood claims. The typical policy premium is approximately $500 per year, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which oversees the flood insurance.
Although the Kansas Insurance Department can answer basic questions about flood insurance through its Consumer Assistance Hotline, the NFIP is a federal program that has its own website, www.floodsmart.gov. Kansas consumers can also call the FEMA Region VII office at (816) 283-7980.