Pleasanton Weekly

Real Estate - September 16, 2011

Hurricane, heavy rains show importance of flood insurance

Congress needs to act by Sept. 30 to reauthorize program

by Jeb Bing

As homeowners across the East Coast weathered Hurricane Irene and the heavy rains that followed, the importance of flood insurance was again made clear.

This special insurance is the only way for homeowners to financially protect their property or businesses from flood damages.

Hurricane damage from water is only covered by flood insurance, which must be purchased separately through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), and if Congress doesn't act soon this critical program will expire on Sept. 30, putting millions of homeowners at risk.

"As the leading advocate for homeownership and housing issues, National Association of Realtors believes that the NFIP is essential to a properly functioning real estate market, ensuring access to affordable flood insurance for millions of homeowners," said NAR President Ron Phipps, broker-president of Phipps Realty in Warwick, R.I.

"Realtors support any and every effort to extend the program for as long as legislatively possible, so that American families won't have to go without essential flood protection," he added.

Floods are also not just a coastal issue and are not only caused by hurricanes. Floods claimed more lives and property than any other natural disaster in the U.S. over the past century and have been declared in every state, along rivers and anywhere rain falls or snow melts.

The NFIP is set to expire on Sept. 30 for the 10th time in three years, and the NAR is urging Congress to reauthorize the program for five years, before it expires. The NFIP ensures access to affordable flood insurance for more than 5.6 million home and business owners in 21,000 communities across the nation.

"We strongly urge Congress to speed passage of legislation to reauthorize the NFIP for the long term and end the current stopgap approach that has already led to numerous extensions and lapses of program authority in the past two years," said Phipps.

NAR is also calling on Congress to develop a proactive national policy to reduce natural disaster risk beyond floods, so that homeowners have access to affordable, comprehensive property insurance for a full range of natural disasters, and taxpayers no longer have to fund rebuilding efforts through federal disaster assistance.

"Whether it's a tornado, flood, hurricane, or earthquakes like those that hit Colorado and the Eastern U.S. last month, virtually every region of the country is susceptible to nature's unexpected fury," said Phipps. "Our thoughts are with all Americans who may be affected by this impending hurricane, and we will continue to work with public policymakers on these important issues."


Posted by AD, a resident of Sycamore Place
on Sep 19, 2011 at 6:57 pm

Does anyone in Pleasanton buy flood insurance? its expensive and deductibles are high... it is useful if you lose a large portion of the property --some areas in pleasanton are consider "flood zone" areas...

Posted by Rick, a resident of another community
on Sep 21, 2011 at 5:02 am

I reside in northern New Jersey which bore the brunt of Hurricane Irene and the subsequent flooding, weeks-long power outages, and the lack of gasoline to power generators. Our house is worth $400,ooo; flood insurance is $400 annually with $1000 deductible. Trust me, when you lose your hot water heater, furnace, washer, dryer; when your electrical sockets are rusted out and your floors come up, the flood insurance comes in really handy, despite what some people might think of as a "high" deductible.

Posted by R. Jensen, a resident of Kottinger Ranch
on Sep 21, 2011 at 5:37 am

"Trust me, when you lose your hot water heater, furnace, washer, dryer; when your electrical sockets are rusted out and your floors come up, the flood insurance comes in really handy, despite what some people might think of as a 'high' deductible."

R. Jensen, your friendly insurance agent

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