COLUMBUS, OH – Heavy rains during Ohio’s late winter and early spring have prompted questions across the state about flood insurance eligibility and strategies for protecting personal property.

Federal flood insurance is available for any structure, owned or rented, in participating communities of the National Flood Insurance Program according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Soil & Water Resources.

“There’s a misunderstanding out there that some structures are not eligible for flood insurance, and that’s just not the case,” said Christopher Thoms, the ODNR’s Floodplain Management Program manager. “The best thing a property owner can do is contact their insurance agent and ask about national flood insurance.”

Congress created the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) in 1968 to help provide a means for property owners across the United State to financially protect themselves from the impacts of flooding. In Ohio there are currently over 740 participating communities in the NFIP. Participating communities agree to adopt and enforce regulations that meet or exceed the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) requirements to reduce the risk of flooding.

One common misconception regarding flood insurance is that it’s covered within a standard homeowner’s insurance policy. The fact is that the owner must have a separate policy. According to FEMA, the average cost of a flood insurance policy in Ohio is $483.00 per year.

“Floods cause more loss of life and damage to property than all other natural hazards combined,” said Thoms. “We want to help people protect their lives and property, and the best way that can be done is by making available ready resources so that everyone can be informed about the risks associated with flood events.”

Thoms said ODNR’s Floodplain Management Program aims to reduce the impact of flooding in Ohio by providing advice and technical information to citizens and government entities. He recommended that property owners and renters review the flood-related fact sheets on the Division of Soil & Water Resources Web page at www.ohiodnr.com/tabid/3511/Default.aspx.

Learn more about flood insurance and reducing the risks associated with flooding, at www.fema.gov/business/nfip/ and www.ohiodnr.com/tabid/21817/Default.aspx.

The ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR Web site at ohiodnr.com.

Contact:

Elisha Ehnes, ODNR Office of Communications

614. 265. 6797

Jason Fallon, ODNR Office of Communications

614. 265. 6842

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