SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) officials recommend purchasing flood insurance now to protect your property, before the peak of the hurricane season. Flooding events are the most common disaster and most homeowners insurance does not cover flood damage.
"Through the recent flooding events, we saw the need for communities to become more proactive by protecting their properties before the next severe weather event hits," said FEMA's Federal Coordinating Officer, Justo Hernandez. "People should buy flood insurance now, because when you purchase a flood insurance policy there is a 30-day waiting period before it takes effect."
Anyone - property owners, renters and business owners – can purchase flood insurance, through their local insurance agent or company, if their community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Also, you can visit www.floodsmart.gov or call 1-800-427-2419, where bilingual staff will offer general flood insurance information.
Currently, 62,476 families in Puerto Rico are participating in the NFIP, while 177,773 structures are located in special flood hazard areas.
If you are a homeowner, you can insure your home for up to $250,000 and its contents for up to $100,000. Renters can buy coverage for personal property for up to $100,000, and nonresidential property owners can insure a building and its contents for up to $500,000.
The average cost for a policy is $481.55 annually, and it depends on a number of variables, such as if you live in a low, moderate or high-risk flood area. This can be identified in Flood Insurance Rate Maps, which show flood hazard areas and are used to determine the flood insurance rate for a given property.
FEMA advises residents to get additional information online through FEMA's Map Service Center at www.msc.fema.gov or www.jp.gobierno.pr/avi/ to see the updated flood map for your community.
FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.