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Spring thaw’s imminence makes thirty-day waiting period for coverage a factor

Property owners without flood insurance should act now to protect themselves against losses caused by flooding because there is a 30-day waiting period for federally-backed flood insurance, New York State Acting Superintendent Eric R. Dinallo said today.

"Heavy snowfalls and saturated ground conditions have occurred in many areas, dramatically increasing the potential for flooding, even in normally low-to-moderate flood risk areas, but uninsured property owners seeking coverage must be aware that there is a 30-day waiting period for a policy to take effect," Mr. Dinallo said.

Low-cost flood insurance is available under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), a federally-backed program managed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

"Future flooding caused by snow already on the ground would be covered by flood insurance, provided that the policy is in force at the time the flooding occurs," a FEMA spokesperson said.

"Unfortunately, too many people are unaware that most homeowners’ insurance policies do not protect them against flood damage. It just makes sense for people to review their insurance coverage and purchase flood insurance now if they haven’t already done so," Mr. Dinallo said. "Certainly people living in coastal and flood-prone areas should take advantage of the opportunity to secure their property."

Under the flood insurance program, coverage may be purchased for most buildings as long as the property is located in a community that participates in the NFIP. Most of the communities in New York State participate in the program, and community participation can be verified on the FEMA website,,or by a property insurance agent.

Homeowners, renters and business owners in participating communities are eligible to purchase flood insurance to protect homes, non-residential structures and personal property.

According to FEMA, flood insurance is reasonably priced and there are numerous options for both residential and non-residential properties. For example, a homeowner in a low-to-moderate risk area can purchase a minimum of $20,000 building and $8,000 content coverage for as little as $112 a year.

FEMA urged property insurance agents to contact their uninsured customers to discuss the importance of flood insurance and explain the types of coverage and options that are available to them. Agents may obtain FEMA’s "Flood Insurance Manual" by going to

Information on the program may also be obtained by calling 800-427-2419. Agent referrals may be obtained at or by calling 888-435-6637.

Department of Financial Services


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