Date: April 14, 2014
For more information contact: J.P. Wieske, Public Information Officer, (608) 266-2493 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Flood Insurance Is a Matter of Protection
Madison, WIWisconsin Insurance Commissioner Ted Nickel is encouraging consumers to review their insurance documents and evaluate whether they need a flood insurance policy.
Commissioner Nickel reminds consumers that a flood insurance policy has a 30-day waiting period before it becomes effective. Purchasing a policy now will ensure coverage is available during flooding season.
"Not enough residents in Wisconsin have flood insurance," said Nickel. "Having flood coverage can prevent a tremendous amount of financial hardship for victims of floods."
Wisconsin weather can be particularly severe. The standard homeowner's policy can include coverage for wind, hail and tornado damage. A homeowner's policy does not cover damage to property and possessions in the event of a flood. Just a few inches of flood water can cause thousands of dollars in damage.
Commissioner Nickel indicated that with only approximately 18,000 flood insurance policies issued in Wisconsin, coverage is not adequate to protect consumers in the event of severe weather that causes flooding. Floods can occur at any time and at any location. 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 FEMA, most homeowners in a moderate- to low-risk area are eligible for coverage at a preferred rate. The average cost of the policy is about $300 a year and preferred rates can be as low as $130 a year.
Under the flood insurance program, coverage may be purchased as long as the property is located in a community that participates in 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 the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (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. Today, OCI's mission is to lead the way in informing and protecting the public and responding to its insurance needs.