Flood Insurance

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Despite disasters in the Mountain State year after year, many at-risk homeowners and business owners fail to buy coverage in the National Flood Insurance Program.

Of the 108,000 at-risk structures identified on the state's floodplains, only 20,000 of those have flood insurance.

"For a lot of people it goes back to the cost of flood insurance and homeowner's insurance," says Jay Jones of McCrady-Jones Nationwide Insurance in South Parkersburg. "Trying to tie both of those together, it gets pretty costly for an insurer."

One issue for low and moderate-income residents may be the cost. The average national premium for a $100,000 policy is about $400, but some may be cheaper.

"It depends on whether it's in an A, B or C zone," Jones says. "A C zone is out of the flood zone, but you can still buy insurance if you want it. I just did a $15,000 policy in an A zone at $219 a year."

Over the lifetime of a 30-year mortgage people who live in floodplains are five times more likely to experience a flood than a fire.