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Consumer Alert: Spring Weather Brings Increased Risk for Flooding – Be Prepared
Start Date: 3/17/2016Start Time: 12:00 AM
End Date: 3/17/2016
Entry Description

Spring Weather Brings Increased Risk for Flooding –
Be Prepared

The Indiana Department of Insurance encourages Hoosiers to review their homeowners insurance policies to determine if they are covered for flood damage.

Indianapolis – The Indiana Department of Insurance encourages Hoosiers to prepare for spring flooding and to consider flood insurance before the flood season begins. Many flash flood watches and warnings were in effect last year across the state as Indiana had record rainfall in the month of June and above average precipitation in July. As storms ripped through Indiana, many homes were left damaged by flooding. Those who own property or rent need to be aware of the risks and financially prepare for the damage floods can cause.

“What many Hoosiers need to understand is that damage to a home caused by flooding water is not usually covered under a standard homeowners  policy,” said Indiana Department of Insurance Commissioner Stephen W. Robertson. “While limited coverage for drain and sewer backup may be added to a homeowners policy, overflow that is the result of a flood is typically excluded. The department recommends that you review your policy now to determine if any damage as the result of flooding will be covered.”

It’s important to plan ahead to be prepared for possible flooding since it takes time for flood insurance policies to go into effect.

“Spring is fast approaching and if you need flood insurance, you’ll want to purchase it now because typically there is a 30-day waiting period from the date of purchase before the policy goes into effect,” said Robertson.

How is a flood defined for insurance purposes?
A flood is an excess of water (or mud) on land that’s normally dry. The NFIP defines flood to be a general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of two or more acres of normally dry land area; or of two or more properties (at least one of which is the policyholder’s property) from one of the following:

  • Overflow of inland or tidal waters
  • Unusual and rapid accumulation of surface waters from any source
  • Mudflow
  • Collapse or subsidence of land along the shore of a lake or similar body of water as a result of erosion or undermining, caused by waves or currents of water exceeding anticipated cyclical levels

What is Flood Insurance?
Flood insurance is a special policy that is federally backed by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and available for both homeowners and businesses. Congress created the NFIP in 1968 to help provide a means for property owners to financially protect themselves. NFIP is designed to provide an insurance alternative to disaster assistance to meet the escalating costs of repairing damage to buildings and their contents caused by floods. The NFIP offers flood insurance to homeowners, renters, and business owners if their community participates in the NFIP. Participating communities agree to adopt and enforce ordinances that meet or exceed FEMA requirements to reduce the risk of flooding.

Almost all of the nation’s communities with serious flooding potential have joined the NFIP. The NFIP provides a list of participating communities in the Community Status Book. To learn if your community participates in the NFIP, refer to this list online or contact your insurance agent.

How is flood insurance purchased?
After a community joins the NFIP, a policy may be purchased from any licensed property insurance agent or broker who is in good standing in the state, or through any agent representing a Write Your Own (WYO) Company, including an employee of the company authorized to issue the coverage. The agent will complete the flood insurance application, obtain the proper supporting documentation required, and determine the rates for establishing the flood insurance premium.

Find out more about the FEMA NFIP and how it can help you protect yourself.

Who may purchase a flood insurance policy?
NFIP coverage is available to all owners of eligible property (a building and/or its contents) located in a community participating in the NFIP. Owners and renters may insure their property against flood loss. Owners of buildings in the course of construction, condominium associations, and owners of residential condominium units in participating communities all may purchase flood insurance. Condominium associations may purchase insurance coverage on a residential building, including all units, and its commonly owned contents under the Residential Condominium Building Association Policy (RCBAP). The unit owner may separately insure personal contents as well as obtain additional building coverage under the Dwelling Form as long as the unit owner’s share of the RCBAP and his/her added coverage do not exceed the statutory limits for a single-family dwelling. The owner of any condominium unit in a non-residential condominium building may purchase only contents coverage for that unit.

You can buy flood insurance for your home or business regardless of whether the property is in or out of a floodplain, as long as the property is located in a participating community. You may buy flood insurance covering up to $250,000 of flood damage to your home. A standard flood policy will cover structural damage, including damage to the furnace, water heater, air conditioner, floor surfaces (carpeting and tile) and debris clean up. For an additional premium, you also may buy flood coverage for up to $100,000 of damage to the contents of your home. Coverage is available for up to $500,000 for non–residential buildings and their contents.

Should you purchase flood insurance if it is not required by your mortgage company?
Do not confuse any contractual obligations between you and your mortgage company with the flood exposure you may face. Just because your mortgage company does not require you to purchase flood insurance does not mean you are immune from experiencing a flood loss. If there are any conditions that could cause you to experience flood damage to your property, consider how you would pay for such a loss. The NFIP flood insurance policy will provide funds to pay most damages resulting from flood. The question you must ask is, without flood coverage, will I be able to pay for a flood loss from my own funds?

About Indiana Department of Insurance
The Indiana Department of Insurance (IDOI) protects Indiana's insurance consumers by monitoring and regulating the financial strengths and market conduct activities of insurance companies and agents. The IDOI monitors insurance companies and agents for compliance with state laws to protect consumers and to offer them the best array of insurance products available. The IDOI also assists Hoosiers with insurance questions and provides guidance in understanding how insurance policies work.

Contact Information:
Name: Jenifer Groth, APR
Phone: (317) 234-8582
IDOI logo
Entry Type:
Press Release
Entry Category:
  • Alerts and Notification
  • Public Safety
  • Category:
  • Residents
  • Family & Health
  • Agency Name
    Insurance, Indiana Department of

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