From the office of Congressman John Garamendi – Re Flood Insurance

Due to recent evacuations, many folks are asking whether or not they can purchase federal flood insurance.
Please read the information below regarding FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
Because California has been saturated with rain and snow and with the NWS predicting more wet weather to come over the next 90 days, for those of you who may be seeking flood insurance, NFIP may be a choice worth considering. There is a 30 day wait period, however, so those wishing to purchase should do so soon.
Please share this information with your networks, colleagues, friends and neighbors.

Jeannie Klever
District Representative
Office of Congressman John Garamendi-CA03
Yuba City
Office: 530-329-8865
Work e-mail: Jeannie.Klever@mail.house.gov

a) Will FEMA waive the 30-day wait period for insurance to begin if they sign up now?
Response: FEMA does not have the authority to waive the statutory standard 30-day waiting period. 42 U.S.C. § 4013(c)(1) specifies that all new flood insurance policies “shall become effective upon the expiration of the 30-day period beginning on the date that all obligations for such coverage (including completion of the application and payment of any initial premiums owed) are satisfactorily completed.” Further, 44 CFR 61.11 specifies that:

[T]he effective date and time of any new policy or added coverage or increase in the amount of coverage shall be 12:01 a.m. (local time) on the 30th calendar day after the application date and the presentment of payment of premium; for example, a flood insurance policy applied for with the payment of the premium on May 1 will become effective at 12:01 a.m. on May 31.

There are three exceptions to this waiting period.
1. 42 U.S.C. § 4013(c)(2)(B) and 44 CFR 61.11(a) allow for next-day coverage during the first 13-months following the revision of a flood map in the property’s community.
2. 42 U.S.C. § 4013(c)(2)(A) and 44 CFR § 61.11(b) allow for next-day coverage when the initial purchase of flood insurance is in connection with a mortgage loan transaction.
3. 42 U.S.C. § 4013(c)(2)(C), as added by BW-12 § 100241, provides a narrow exception related to post-wildfire flooding.

Save those limited exceptions, the NFIP cannot waive the 30-day waiting period because it a statutory mandate.

b) Can they even get insurance when they are under an Evacuation Advisory?
Response: Yes, unlike many private homeowners insurance policies, the NFIP does not stop writing policies in an area facing immediate threats of losses. Individuals can purchase flood insurance at any time from their insurance agent. Individuals needing help finding an NFIP agent can call the NFIP Referral Call Center at (888) 379-9531 to request an agent referral. New policies would still be subject to the 30-day waiting period.