BISMARCK, N.D.-North Dakota Insurance Commissioner Adam Hamm today encouraged homeowners, business owners and renters to know their flood risk when thinking about purchasing flood insurance.
Although there isn't much snow on the ground this winter, North Dakotans should be aware of their flood risk. The floodplain is broken down into zones. Zone A has the highest risk for flooding; however, 25 percent of all flood insurance claims are paid out to policyholders in lower-risk zones outside of zone A.
"The most important thing you can do is to find out what zone your property is in," Hamm said. "Take a minute to look at a floodplain map and identify your zone and your risk."
Floodplain maps, also known as FIRMs (flood insurance rate maps), can be found at www.msc.fema.gov. Enter your address in the box on the left side of the screen.
Flood insurance policies are most affordable in low- to moderate-risk zones B, C and X, which are outside the 100-year floodplain. Homes located within A zones may be required to carry flood insurance if purchased through a federal loan. Flood insurance is offered and underwritten by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Several insurance companies in North Dakota write and service flood policies through the NFIP. Homeowners' insurance policies do not cover flooding.
"Consumers should remember that there is a 30-day waiting period before a flood insurance policy kicks in," Hamm said. "I encourage consumers to learn what zone they're in, and to fully educate themselves about flood insurance and whether to purchase it."
For more information, contact your insurance agent or the NFIP at 1.800.638.6620 or www.floodsmart.gov. Consumers are also welcome to call the North Dakota Insurance Department at 1.800.247.0560.