Many homeowners do not buy flood insurance, despite eligibility

Such policies protect against damage not covered by home insurance.

Heavy rain combined with melting snow can cause rivers to swell - and often flood into the surrounding land.

These conditions may soon become a reality in the Midwest, Mississippi and Florida where state officials have urged homeowners to protect their property by purchasing insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program.

But the majority of homeowners in one Florida county have no intention of purchasing such coverage, according to a recent survey by the Jamestown Sun. About 68.1 percent of respondents said they would not buy flood insurance through NFIP, despite a report the previous week that they were eligible.

This trend can also be seen on a national scale. About 17 percent of Americans had flood insurance in 2008, according to the Insurance Information Institute, with the Northeast reporting the highest percentage.

"There's a greater chance of having a flood than there is of a fire, yet most people have insurance protection against fire but not flood," Jeanne Salvatore, senior vice president and consumer spokesperson for III, said. "Homeowners, renters and businesses need to purchase both."

Operated through the Federal Emergency Management Agency, NFIP currently protects more than five million Americans.ADNFCR-2378-ID-19649466-ADNFCR

Posted: March 3, 2010

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