As of June 21, Washington County residents and businesses are eligible to buy flood insurance, thanks to the community’s adoption and enforcement of ordinances to reduce flood losses and acceptance by the National Flood Insurance Program.

Washington County will be one of 21,000 communities who are eligible for flood insurance.  

Businesses and residents are eligible to purchase flood insurance up to the limits in the regular phase of the program, said Washington County Auditor Randall Bills. 

He said the single-family limit was $250,000 (with the contents limited at $100,000) and the business limit for both building and contents capped at $500,000. 

Renters will also be able to protect their belongings by purchasing contents coverage. 

Bills said there is a 30-day waiting period before flood insurance coverage kicks in. 

Lenders must require borrowers whose properties are located in a designated flood hazard area to purchase flood insurance as a condition of receiving federally backed mortgage loans in according with the Federal Disaster Protection Act of 1973. 

The NFIP is implemented through the Federal Emergency Management Agency. There are over 5.5 million flood insurance policies in more than 21,000 participating communities. 

In a letter to Washington County Commissioner Phil Marshall, Rachel Spears, Director of Floodplain Management at FEMA said that the insurance could be purchased from any insurance agent in the area. 

Spears pointed out there are 10 exceptions to the 30-day waiting period after a police is purchased. 

The top two exceptions are: 

  1. when the initial purchase of flood insurance is in connection with the making, increasing, extension or renewal of a loan, there is no waiting period and coverage is effective immediately. 
  2. when the purchase of flood insurance is related to a revision or update of a Flood Hazard Boundary Map or Flood Insurance Rate Map there is a one-day waiting period.