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Many homeowners not insured for flood damage

Heavy storms spark an outbreak of claims in New Jersey.

Heavy storms have dumped up to 6 inches of rain on parts of New Jersey, stimulating an outbreak of insurance claims.

Many of these claims will go unpaid because homeowners do not have the appropriate insurance coverage, according to a recent report by the Star-Ledger. While most auto and home insurance policies cover wind-related damage, homeowners need flood insurance to protect against water damage.

Flood insurance can be purchased through the National Flood Insurance Program and typically has a 30-day waiting period. Premiums average at $540, according to the report, and can cover up to $250,000 in structural damage to a home. A wet winter followed by heavy rain may contribute to higher flood levels this spring, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

“Homeowners and renters who reside near small streams and creeks should already have flood insurance but, those who don’t ought to secure a flood policy because this will continue to be an issue into the spring season,” said Michael Barry, vice president of media relations at the III.

A recent survey by the institute showed that about 17 percent of Americans had flood insurance in 2008, with the Northeast having the highest take-up rate. ADNFCR-2378-ID-19670315-ADNFCR

Posted: March 15, 2010

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