Poolman: Homeowners Should Consider Flood Insurance
Posted on 2/28/2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jim Poolman
February 28, 2007
Bismarck, ND - With spring thaws only weeks away, Insurance Commissioner Jim Poolman is encouraging homeowners, renters and businesses to find out whether they should purchase a flood insurance policy to protect themselves against losses from flooding.
"Because there is a 30-day waiting period before a flood insurance policy becomes effective, it is imperative that consumers start checking into the purchase of a policy well before the major spring thaw," Poolman said.
Many people falsely assume that their existing homeowner's policy covers flooding. However, flood coverage is purchased separately. Flood insurance is offered and underwritten by the National Flood Insurance Program. In addition, coverage may also be purchased from an insurance agent.
"Flooding can occur anytime, almost anywhere and often with little warning," Poolman said. "In 1997, even with prior warning of flooding, less than 10% of Grand Fork's population had coverage. Flood insurance is affordable and easy to purchase and consumers need to take the time now to consider whether or not they need to protect themselves," he added.
Almost all areas are susceptible to flooding, although to varying degrees. In fact, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, between 20% and 25% of all flood claims occur in the low-to-moderate risk areas. In addition, many homeowners are not aware that they are four times more likely to lose their home to a flood than a fire.
Flooding can be caused by heavy rains, melting snow, by inadequate drainage systems, and failed protective devices such as levees and dams. In addition, every year since 1993, a disaster has been declared in North Dakota because of flooding. Poolman said, "It is important that consumers across the state consider this when deciding to purchase flood insurance."
For information regarding flood insurance coverage, please contact the National Flood Insurance Program at 1.800.638.6620 or your insurance agent. Consumers may also contact the North Dakota Insurance Department at 1.800.247.0560 or visit the "Consumer" section of our website at www.nd.gov/ndins/consumer/details.asp?ID=136