According to a news release from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, despite the fact that flooding is the most common form of natural disaster in the country, statistics continue to indicate that individuals are ignoring this risk and are failing to purchase the gap insurance required to cover them against this circumstance.
There are approximately 1.7 million households in the state of Oklahoma, and fewer than 34,000 (approximately 2 percent) of them are covered in the event of flooding, from a policy with the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). At the same time, over the last dozen years, Oklahoma has experienced 14 declarations of a major disaster that involve floods.
FEMA officials from Denton, Texas – the regional office responsible for the overseeing of Oklahoma as well as Texas, Arkansas, New Mexico, and Louisiana – have identified a number of reasons that homeowners hesitate to take part in NFIP.
Tony Russell, the regional administrator for FEMA Region 6, has said that many people are under the impression that their homeowners coverage provides insurance against flooding, but in actuality, it does not. He went on to say that others believe that if they do not reside within a flood zone, “then they don’t have to buy flood insurance or simply can’t because it’s not offered; both assumptions are inaccurate.”
Other commonly believed myths that were identified include that people think they can only buy flood insurance if they are in a high risk area, that the only people who can buy this coverage is homeowners, and that if the property has never flooded before, then they won’t qualify. None of these assumptions are true.