New York State

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James J. Wrynn    Superintendent of Insurance    25 Beaver Street  New York, N.Y. 10004

ISSUED 09/23/2010 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

REDUCED FLOOD INSURANCE PREMIUM RATES NOW AVAILABLE

Program Aids Owners of Properties Newly Mapped into Flood Risk Areas

Superintendent James Wrynn today urged consumers affected by recent flood map changes to take advantage of new preferred rates now available on a temporary basis for flood insurance under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

“The updating of flood maps means that many more properties are in areas now classified as high-risk for flooding. Since most homeowners policies don’t offer protection against flooding, consumers should seriously consider buying flood insurance. I urge insurance agents and brokers to explain this type of protection to their customers,” Wrynn said.

Under a program announced by NFIP and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), properties newly mapped into high-risk special flood hazard areas (SFHA) are eligible for reduced rates for two years.

Properties eligible include:

Policies can be purchased to insure building and contents coverage or contents-only coverage. Preferred risk premiums for a residential building and contents range from $129 for $20,000 in building and $8,000 in contents coverage to $405 for the maximum $250,000 building and $100,000 contents coverage. Comparable coverages under a standard rated policy would range from $721 to $1,612.

The preferred risk program was announced to reduce the financial hardship individuals may face in purchasing new flood insurance policies by giving them time to save and prepare for paying the higher cost of standard premiums. The program is also intended to give communities time to upgrade and/or mitigate flood control structures to reduce the future financial impact on residents and businesses.

Flood risk maps have been updated over the past several years with newly available technologies that more accurately identify flood hazards. Original flood maps were created using now outdated technologies.

Both historic and current flood maps can be found on FEMA’s mapping website, http://msc.fema.gov, or through a local community’s floodplain administrator. Consumers can also find additional information at http://www.FloodSmart.gov and http://www.FloodSmart.gov/PRPExtension or by calling the NFIP Help Center at 1-800-427-4661.

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