DENTON, TEXAS – Delaware County residents and business owners who do not have flood insurance are encouraged to buy coverage now to get the best possible premiums before new flood insurance rate maps go into effect.

New flood maps become effective on August 5, 2010.

 The new flood insurance rate maps show locations of the 1 percent and 0.2 percent floodplains and floodways, which indicate possible flooding risks for residences and businesses. Property owners need to know that this could mean a change in their floodplain status.

“We encourage residents to look at the flood maps now and to be familiar with flood risks in the community,” said Tony Russell, FEMA regional administrator. “The maps can help residents make informed decisions about flood insurance and flood protection.”

 While many people are required by mortgage and lending companies to have flood insurance, FEMA and the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) strongly recommend that all area residents have flood insurance. The reason is simple: You don’t have to be in a mapped floodplain to flood.

Floodplain Administrators (FPA) in each community have copies of the maps available for public viewing. Residents should contact their local FPA to determine if they will be impacted by map changes.

In addition, current policy holders and those planning to purchase NFIP protection are strongly encouraged to contact their insurance agent or company to ensure that they have adequate coverage and that policies account for new flood risk data. Homeowners who purchase flood insurance prior to August 5, 2010 may be able to grandfather the current Flood Zone saving money on flood insurance. More information on flood insurance is available at www.floodsmart.gov.

The NFIP offers federally-backed flood insurance at relatively nominal rates, as damage from flooding is not covered by homeowners’ insurance. Now is the time to buy flood insurance.  Buying flood insurance now will not only reduce flood insurance costs, but grandfathered policies can be passed on to future owners of a property provided coverage does not lapse. The same holds true for property owners who already have flood insurance. Property owners who wait until after August 5, 2010 may pay premiums that correspond with their actual floodplain status according to the new maps.