The Need For Flood Insurance Rises

Officials urge residents to learn about the National Flood Insurance Program and calculate their flood risk.

DENVER, CO, April 11, 2008 -- Spring flood stories continue to pour out of cities, counties and states across the country, putting flood insurance in the spotlight. In Johnson, Arkansas, where almost half the state had been considered a disaster area, flooding has left people wading through the damage to their homes. Officials in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Mississippi and Missouri have all been on flood alert. In Maine, their Bureau of Insurance is urging all Maine residents and business owners to evaluate their need for flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program.

While some areas of the country are prone to annual flooding, the rise in water can often come as a surprise to residents in moderate to low risk flood areas. FEMA's flood insurance records show that 25% of all flood losses happen to homeowners with a low flood risk.

For those that were shocked with the rise in water, many were not aware they needed flood insurance, or that standard renters insurance or homeowners insurance policies do not cover flooding. As a result, they were left with rebuilding bills they were not financially prepared to pay, while others lost their businesses because of flood damage. In the process, they quickly learned that just a few inches of water can cause thousands and thousands of dollars to bring things back to where they were.

Even a low risk of flooding may be too much to gamble when it comes to your home and all your belongings. A small investment in comparison, a flood insurance policy can range from as little as $200 to $1,000 a year, depending on where you live and your current dwelling.

Even though flood insurance policies are provided through the National Flood Insurance Program, you can receive an insurance quote and purchase coverage through your existing insurance agent, who will help you determine the policy that best suits your needs by examining several variables., the official site of the National Flood Insurance Program, is a great place to learn about flood insurance. Not only can you assess your flood risk through its online tool, but you can estimate your premiums, learn how to prepare for and recover from a flood, and learn what questions to ask your insurance agent.

Because of the flooding problems nationwide, the Insurance Information Institute has also created a helpful flood insurance video, which you can view at:

As the spring weather causes snow to melt and as our weather system becomes more and more unpredictable each year, working with your insurance agent to determine your flood risk can provide great peace of mind. And now is the time to do it, since it typically takes 30 days for a policy to go into effect.

Get your free home insurance or renters insurance quote today, and find out you can protect your home from flood damage.