OCI suggests considering flood insurance

Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:43 pm

With the weather warming across the state and the spring thaw , the Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) encourages consumers to consider purchasing a flood insurance policy.

“With spring on the way, there is often melting snow as well as heavy rains, which can lead to flooding even in low risk areas,” said Sean Dilweg, commissioner of insurance. “But it is important to realize that there is a 30-day waiting period before any flood insurance policy takes effect.”

Many people are unaware that their homeowner’s policy does not cover their property and possessions in the event of a flood. Flood insurance covers the direct physical losses caused by floods, flood-related erosion, severe rainstorms, flash floods and mudslides.

“People need to be aware that flooding can happen anytime and almost anywhere,” said Dilweg. “We strongly encourage people to consider purchasing flood insurance. In the long run, it can cost significantly less than repairs.”

Flood insurance is relatively inexpensive, and is available under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), a federally backed program managed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). According to the FEMA Web site, the average cost of the policy is slightly more than $300 a year for approximately $100,000 of coverage.

Under the flood insurance program, coverage may be purchased as long as the property is located in a community that participates in the NFIP. To verify if a community participates, check with a property insurance agent or visit the FEMA Web site at www.fema.gov/business/nfip. Information on the program can be obtained by calling 800-427-2419 or visiting www.floodsmart.gov.

More information about homeowner’s insurance and flood insurance is also available from OCI. The OCI publications, “Consumer’s Guide to Homeowner’s Insurance” and “Settling Property Insurance Claims,” can be viewed on the OCI Web site at oci.wi.gov. Single copies can also be ordered free from the agency by writing to OCI Publications, P.O. Box 7873, Madison, WI 53707-7873, or calling 800-236-8517.

Created by the Legislature in 1871, Wisconsin’s Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) was vested with broad powers to ensure that the insurance industry responsibly and adequately met the insurance needs of Wisconsin citizens. OCI’s mission is to lead the way in informing and protecting the public and responding to its insurance needs.

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