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  Contact:
Karl Newman, President
Sandi Henke, Communications Director     
NW Insurance Council
Phone: (800) 664-4942
Fax: (206) 624-1975
karl.newman@nwinsurance.org
sandi.henke@nwisurance.org
Follow at Twitter.com/nwinsuranceinfo


Flood Insurance: don't wait for waters to rise; now's the time to protect your home, business

SEATTLE - Heavy rains can bring severe flooding to the doorsteps of thousands of Northwest homes and businesses.

Now is the time to find out if you're properly insured against flood damage. Standard Homeowners and Business insurance policies typically do not cover losses due to flooding. However, everyone at risk for flooding should investigate Flood Insurance available through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

"NFIP studies show that people living in floodplains are 27 times more likely to experience a flood during a 30-year mortgage than they are to have a fire," said Karl Newman, NW Insurance Council president. "Flooding has damaged thousands of homes and displaced residents throughout Western Washington and Oregon. If you're in an at-risk area, it makes sense to investigate your options."

There is a 30-day waiting period after a policy is purchased before coverage begins. The time to consider Flood Insurance is now and not when flooding occurs.

NW Insurance Council, NFIP and the Institute for Business & Home Safety offer these tips as you consider purchasing flood insurance to protect your home during the long rainy season:

  • Be disaster ready. Learn what disasters you're at risk of experiencing in your region and how to prepare your family and protect your home and belongings.
  • Find out if you are located in a floodplain and if your community participates in the NFIP. Visit the city or county building or planning department and ask to see the FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps to determine your Base Flood Elevation.
  • If you are at risk for flooding, consider buying as much flood coverage as you can afford, up to the replacement value of your property. Primary residences insured for at least 80 percent of their value, or for the maximum amounts allowed, get replacement cost coverage.
  • Depending on the amount of coverage you purchase, Flood Insurance is available for as little as $112 per year in low-to-moderate flood risk areas if you qualify for a Preferred Risk Policy. In high-risk areas, Flood Insurance premiums range from $500 to $2,500 annually.
  • Damage from landslides and mudslides is excluded from standard Homeowners insurance coverage. Special coverage is available through a separate Difference in Conditions policy. Check with your agent or an insurance broker to learn more.
  • Become familiar with your community's disaster preparedness plans and create a family plan ahead of time - before a flood threatens.
  • Develop a family emergency plan and survival kit that includes a three-day supply of drinking water and food you don't have to refrigerate or cook. The kit should also contain first aid supplies, a weather radio, batteries, clothing, blankets, medicine, copies of your insurance policies and some basic tools.

For more information on how to protect your home, business and property against flood, contact NW Insurance Council at (800) 664-4942.

NW Insurance Council is a nonprofit, public-education organization funded by member insurance companies serving Washington, Oregon and Idaho.

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