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Lindeen: Now is the time to buy flood insurance

March 6, 2014

HELENA  – With record snowfall now melting across much of the state, Montana Insurance Commissioner Monica Lindeen encouraged Montanans not to wait to buy flood insurance. Flood insurance policies do not take effect until 30 days after purchase, making early planning essential to cover costly flood damage.

"Flooding is a real risk this spring," said Lindeen.  "If you wait until the creeks are jumping their banks to buy insurance, it’s too late. Most homeowner’s insurance policies don’t cover flood damage. If you are worried about flooding, now is the time to buy.”

Supplemental flood insurance policies can be purchased through certified local insurance agents thanks to the National Flood Insurance Program, which is run and regulated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Lindeen also cautioned property owners to look at their existing policies to see the kinds of water damage that is – and is not – covered.

Flood insurance covers damage to the insured building with some restrictions. Coverage for the building's contents can be purchased for an additional premium. Federal flood insurance is available for homes, condominiums, apartments and commercial buildings. Typically, coverage starts 30 days after a person purchases the policy.

Flooding can be a concern, even for those who think they are safe. Statistics show that about 20 to 25 percent of all flood claims occur outside of a high-risk flood area.

For more information, or to find a certified agent near you, visit FloodSmart.gov or call the National Flood Insurance Program at (888) 379-9531. Learn more about the Commissioner's Office at csi.mt.gov or by calling (800) 332-6148.