CHARLESTON, W.Va. — An important deadline in the recovery efforts from the June 2016 floods is quickly approaching.
The West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management is wanting to remind landowners in West Virginia that received assistance from FEMA in 2016 through a three-year group flood insurance policy, that the insurance will be expiring in the coming months.
“If there is another flood you’re still be covered, you’re eligible for federal assistance,” Lora Lipscomb with the W.Va. Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHSEM), said if you renew insurance. “You’re covered in the event that something else would happen.”
Landowners affected by the 2016 disaster could apply for federal money but to be able to apply for FEMA, those individuals must have had the flood insurance.
After the purchase of the three-year group flood insurance policy, according to Lipscomb, failure to maintain flood insurance could result in the reduction or elimination of federal assistance in future flood events.
DHSEM said as part of the eligibility requirement to receive this assistance, homeowners make a commitment to maintain flood insurance for the life of the structure, meaning the next owner would have to as well.
The flood insurance kicked in 60 days after the flood disaster declaration was signed, as Lipscomb said the first batch of group flood insurance policies is set to expire the first of September.
“We need to really emphasize to people that they need to have their new flood insurance in place 30 days before that expiration so there is no overlap,” she said.
“Homeowners and landlords are encouraged to begin calling for insurance. Either us directly or local floodplain manager.”
Lipscomb added that some quotes could be high for homeowners but there are ways to possibly reduce them.
“They can contact one of the local floodplain managers in their area and that manager will come out at no charge and help them with some things at their home that may reduce that price,” she said.
In a release, FEMA’s West Virginia National Flood Insurance Program Director, Kevin Sneed said, “Continuing to maintain flood insurance not only meets eligibility requirements for future disaster assistance, it provides greater protection for one of your most valued investments: your home.”
DHSEM did not have numbers on the exact totals of homeowners in West Virginia with the three-year group flood insurance policy.