RICHMOND — Residents of the town of Cheriton on Virginia’s Eastern Shore are now eligible to purchase flood insurance backed by the federal government.
Cheriton in July became a participant in the National Flood Insurance Program, or NFIP, which provides insurance to help reduce the socioeconomic impact of floods.
Flooding is the most common and costly natural hazard in the United States.
The NFIP is managed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and implemented on a local level. Cheriton became an NFIP community after adopting and enforcing a local floodplain management ordinance based on the town’s mapped flood zones.
When a community joins the NFIP, the community must ensure it has adopted a floodplain management ordinance and enforcement procedures that meet NFIP minimums. In return, the federal government makes flood insurance available for residents of that community. Access to certain disaster aid, grants and loans is also made available to NFIP participating communities.
The goals of the program are to save lives, protect property and encourage a comprehensive approach to floodplain management.
Many people don’t realize their homeowners or renters insurance doesn’t cover damage from floods. One inch of water in a home can cost as much as $25,000 in damage, according to FEMA. Flood insurance can provide a quicker recovery from floods while protecting financial livelihood.
Cheriton residents have the ability to purchase coverage as Virginia enters peak hurricane season. Hurricane season in the Mid-Atlantic is June 1 through Nov. 30.
Flood insurance through NFIP is delivered to the public by a network of approximately 60 insurance companies and the NFIP Direct. The coverage is available to homeowners, renters and business owners. For single-family dwellings, the building coverage limit is $250,000 and contents coverage limit is $100,000. Renters can protect their belongings with contents coverage. For commercial properties, the building and contents coverage limits are both $500,000.
Anyone who would like to purchase flood insurance through NFIP should visit www.FloodSmart.gov or contact an insurance agent. There is a 30-day waiting period before new policies take effect.
Cheriton is one of 291 communities participating in NFIP in Virginia. The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation helps local governments comply with NFIP requirements through its Floodplain Management Program.
DCR can help localities draft and update floodplain ordinances. More information about NFIP and the Virginia Floodplain Management Program is available at www.dcr.virginia.gov/floods.